U.S. Energy News

Emissions from natural gas on track to surpass coal

EMISSIONS: The carbon dioxide emissions from natural gas are expected to top the emissions from coal this year for the first time in more than 40 years, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. (Greentech Media)

BIOMASS: The biomass industry is floundering nationwide because of low power prices, while politicians and scientists spar over emissions from burning wood. (Climate Central)

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SOLAR:
• Solar power incentives can burn a hole in a state’s budget, but a well-designed plan can bring benefits. (Utility Dive)
• California-based SolarCity Corp is cutting operating costs, including reducing its chief executive’s salary from $275,000 to $1, in an effort to bring expenses in line with its reduced solar installation outlook. (Reuters)
• A South Carolina Republican state senator says conservatives should take a more proactive approach to solar power in the state. (Southeast Energy News)

UTILITIES: Corporations like Apple and Google becoming energy suppliers is part of a “much broader trend” that will pose significant challenges for regulated utilities. (Greentech Media)

OIL & GAS:
• Exxon Mobil Corp. curbed operations at the fourth-largest refinery in the U.S., as record flooding threatens Louisiana’s oil infrastructure. (Bloomberg)
• The ousted CEO of Minnesota-based Northern Oil and Gas is suing for wrongful termination, saying the company reneged on an agreement to let him exit with a full severance package. (Star Tribune)
• A state committee is asking lawmakers in Maine to overhaul a 2015 law that prohibits releasing information about the rail transportation of crude oil and other hazardous materials to the public. (Pine Tree Watchdog)
• New York’s attorney general faced hesitation from his own allies after launching an investigation into whether Exxon Mobil suppressed climate change information, according to emails. (Morning Consult)

COAL:
• Bankrupt coal company Peabody Energy wins court approval for a $1.14 billion plan to cover potential environmental liabilities in three states, plus bonuses for its six top executives. (Reuters)
• To offset lost mining jobs, Appalachia is setting aside political feuds in order to create an entrepreneurial economy based on new industries. (New York Times)

POLITICS:
• Two major coal lobbies see their membership decline and corporate supporters bow out, according to a new report. (Huffington Post)
• In an effort to retain jobs, two Ohio lawmakers are supporting a plan by Akron-based FirstEnergy that critics say is an unlawful “bailout.” (Midwest Energy News)

CAP-AND-TRADE: California’s senate proposes spending $1.2 billion of the money generated from the state’s cap-and-trade program on cleaner cars, energy efficient upgrades and urban parks. (Los Angeles Times)

PIPELINES: A Massachusetts court ruled against a state requirement that electricity customers must help subsidize construction of private gas pipelines, which could affect a similar case in Maine. (State House News Service/Portland Press Herald)

NUCLEAR: Regulators are investigating why a nuclear fuel factory in South Carolina ended up with three times the safe amount of uranium stuck inside a scrubber, and why it took the company over a month to notify regulators. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

TRANSPORTATION: California lawmakers unveil a $7.4-billion transportation plan that would increase the state’s gasoline tax by 17 cents per gallon. (Los Angeles Times)

WIND: Negotiations have restarted to find a potential buyer for a wind project on an Alaskan island. (Alaska Dispatch News)

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HYDRO: Federal regulators issue a new 30-year license to Charlotte-based Duke Energy for a hydroelectric project in South Carolina. (Charlotte Business Journal)

COMMENTARY: A 2012 deal that divided up $4.7 billion in closing costs for a California nuclear plant seems much less reasonable now, in light of troubling information about secret meetings. (Los Angeles Times)

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