U.S. Energy News

Despite oil company objections, Trump to reverse methane rules

CLIMATE: The EPA today plans to reverse tougher standards on methane emissions issued under the Obama administration, despite the objections of major oil companies who want to keep the new rules in place. (Washington Post)

ALSO:
Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg arrived in New York yesterday after crossing the Atlantic in a sailboat, saying her message is aimed at the American people, not President Trump. (NPR)
The mountain town of Basalt, Colorado becomes the fourth in the state to pass a resolution declaring climate change an emergency. (Aspen Daily News)

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EFFICIENCY: A Michigan utility CEO says customer participation in energy efficiency programs is needed to avoid building three new natural gas plants by 2040. (Energy News Network)

COAL: An Iowa utility could save its customers $16 million annually by quickly withdrawing from three uneconomic coal plants, according to a study commissioned by clean energy groups. (Energy News Network)

SOLAR:
Massachusetts solar advocates are proposing a new energy justice rate as a means to improve low-income residents’ access to community solar projects. (Energy News Network)
• Maryland environmental officials denied permits for two major solar projects, including one sponsored by Georgetown University that would have cleared hundreds of acres of forestland. (Baltimore Sun)

WIND:
Five East Coast governors urge the Trump administration to remove delays that they say threaten the development of offshore wind. (Hartford Courant)
• Comments from Department of Energy officials contradict President Trump’s claim that wind energy is “not working all that well.” (E&E News)
• MidAmerican Energy says an Iowa county’s proposed rule calling for 1.5-mile turbine setbacks from the nearest home would “wipe out” wind development if other counties followed suit. (Des Moines Register)

OIL AND GAS:
• The privately-owned buyer of BP’s oil and gas interests in Alaska’s North Slope has a troubling history of safety and environment violations, and officials say the deal could mean a $30 million hit to the state’s already strained budget. (InsideClimate News, Anchorage Daily News)
• New Mexico officials project a more than $900 million budget surplus, largely due to oil and gas revenues. (Associated Press)
• Colorado’s governor says market forces are the main driver of the oil and gas industry’s future health in the state, rather than Senate Bill 181, which revamped state regulation. (Denver Post)

ELECTRIFICATION: Following Berkeley’s lead, Menlo Park is ushering in one of the most restrictive natural gas bans in California requiring heating systems in all new homes and buildings in the city to run on electricity by the beginning of next year. (Mercury News)

UTILITIES:
A proposed constitutional amendment that would deregulate Florida’s utility industry is scrutinized by state Supreme Court justices. (Palm Beach Post)
There are only five women working among Duke Energy’s 2,500 lineworkers, and the industry is struggling to find female candidates as experienced lineworkers retire and the power grid ages. (Associated Press)

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BIOFUELS: Midwestern farmers’ loyalty to President Trump is being put to the test with the administration’s use of ethanol waivers for oil refiners. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY:
• A columnist says that BP’s sale of its oil and gas interests in Alaska’s North Slope is the latest example of majors continue to retreat from traditional strongholds. (Bloomberg)
• A former National Park Service director says Congress should reject a plan to change the law to allow the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to cross the Appalachian Trail on federal lands. (Politico)

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