U.S. Energy News

Developers: Trump tariffs have scuttled $2.5 billion in solar projects

SOLAR: Developers say Trump administration tariffs have prompted the freezing or cancellation of $2.5 billion in large solar installations, more than double what is expected to be invested in new domestic manufacturing. (Reuters)

COAL: Ohio coal baron Bob Murray wrote half a dozen executive orders for the Trump administration last year, new documents show. (E&E News)

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POWER PLANTS: Even if federal subsidies are enacted, many struggling coal and nuclear plants are likely to close anyway. (Reuters)

PIPELINES:
• Part of a TransCanada natural gas pipeline that runs through northern West Virginia exploded early this morning, no injuries have been reported. (CBS News/WTRF)
Pennsylvania regulators once again halt construction on the Mariner East 2 pipeline due to at least four spills of “drilling mud” in the past eight months. (The Lebanon Daily News)
• Environmental groups call on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam to stop surveillance of anti-pipeline protesters. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

BIOFUELS:
• “We love the farmers,” President Trump says after dropping an effort to weaken the Renewable Fuel Standard. (Omaha World-Herald)
• The move diffused criticism from farm states but drew new criticism from oil refiners, who don’t like the cost of complying with the mandate. (Reuters)

WIND: A wind project in Wyoming is delayed by questions over whether a ranch trailer constitutes a permanent dwelling which would increase setback requirements. (Rawlins Times)

NUCLEAR: An Arizona nuclear plant won’t have to close if voters approve a ballot measure increasing renewable energy use, according to a new analysis conducted for an environmental group. (Utility Dive)

UTILITIES:
As Virginia utilities prepare to comply with a new state renewable energy requirement, a recent regulatory ruling points to potential complications. (Southeast Energy News)
• Xcel Energy files an ambitious plan with Colorado regulators indicating it wants to retire some of its coal plants and increase renewable energy sources to 55 percent of its portfolio by 2026. (Denver Post)
• Minnesota power supplier Great River Energy pledges to get 50 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. (Bismarck Tribune)

EFFICIENCY: Gov. Tom Wolf plans to sign a bill that will make Pennsylvania the first Northeast state in six years to approve commercial PACE financing. (Northeast Energy News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A St. Louis carjacking victim says confused thieves fled on foot after they couldn’t figure out how to steal his electric car, which was plugged in. (Fox 4)

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POLITICS:
• President Trump falsely claims that the U.S. is “exporting energy for the first time.” (New York Times)
• Republican lawmakers are growing frustrated with the stream of ethical scandals involving EPA administrator Scott Pruitt. (Politico)

COMMENTARY:
• How an “operating system” for the grid could double its efficiency. (Vox)
• The Los Angeles Times calls a Trump plan to bail out coal and nuclear plants “an unacceptable government intrusion into the power market.”

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