U.S. Energy News

Drillers show weak interests in record Gulf lease sale

OFFSHORE DRILLING: Drillers bid on just 1 percent of the Gulf waters in the country’s largest-ever lease sale, dealing a setback to the Trump administration’s efforts. (Reuters)

• Two recent tanker shipments of Russian natural gas to a Massachusetts port fuel a broader debate over infrastructure. (E&E News)
• An eastern Iowa power plant that was converted to natural gas in 2015 will close in June, six years ahead of schedule. (Clinton Herald)
• The governors of Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania extend an agreement to boost shale gas production for three more years. (Pittsburgh Business Times)

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• American Indian tribes in the path of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline want to stop construction until regulators can ensure their artifacts and land won’t be damaged. (Southeast Energy News)
• Activists who shut down a crude oil pipeline as part of a multi-state protest demand retrials after judges failed to accept a “necessity defense” that they were forced to act due to the threat of climate change. (The Intercept)

COAL: A regional grid operator approves a West Virginia coal plant closure, saying it would not affect the region’s power system. (West Virginia Public Broadcasting)

• Houston-based rooftop solar financier Sunnova enters the solar-plus-storage market in California. (Greentech Media)
• The U.S. refuses a request to compensate the European Union for tariffs on imported solar modules, opening the door for retaliatory measures. (Greentech Media)
• Mississippi officials ask a failed California solar panel company that received state loans and incentives to repay nearly $93 million. (Associated Press)

• Tesla’s shareholders approve a $2.6 billion compensation package for CEO Elon Musk. (Reuters)
• A sales tax exemption for new electric vehicles in Washington state is expected to end this summer after lawmakers failed to extend the policy. (Associated Press)

UTILITIES: A Texas energy company plans to build a second natural gas plant in southeastern New Mexico. (Carlsbad Current Argus)

BIOFUELS: No one seems to support Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s one-man crusade against the federal ethanol mandate, not even the oil refiners he’s trying to help. (McClatchy)

NUCLEAR: Nevada senators grill Energy Secretary Rick Perry over plans to build a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

EMISSIONS: A promising technology under development at Ohio State University converts fossil fuels into electricity without emitting carbon dioxide, which could be a breakthrough for “clean coal.” (Midwest Energy News)

POLICY: Attorneys general are successfully using lawsuits to stop the Trump administration from weakening environmental regulations. (New York Times)

• Lawmakers agree to fund the EPA at the same level as 2017, rejecting a Trump proposal to cut the agency’s budget by 31 percent. (The Hill)
• EPA administrator Scott Pruitt has promised to improve America’s air and water, but the agency has taken at least 15 actions to weaken air pollution standards. (InsideClimate News)

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• Chevron’s attorney says the company supports the science that humans are causing to climate change, as part of a lawsuit that accuse five oil companies of contributing to climate-related damages. (E&E News)
• The U.S. and other countries are not phasing out fossil fuels fast enough to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement, with global CO2 emissions from energy rising by 1.4 percent in 2017, according to data from the International Energy Agency. (Associated Press, Washington Post)

COMMENTARY: Experts at Energy Innovation outline policy barriers that are slowing adoption of wind and solar power in the U.S. (Utility Dive)

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