U.S. Energy News

Energy secretary pick pledges to support renewables

POLITICS: Former Texas governor and secretary of energy nominee Rick Perry reverses his position on eliminating the Department of Energy and says he supports the advancement of renewable energy, but Donald Trump may have other plans. (Greentech Media)

CLIMATE:
• Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees are reversing their positions on climate change, while still sowing doubt about humans being the cause. (Christian Science Monitor)
• During his Senate confirmation hearing, secretary of energy nominee Rick Perry says he now believes in human-caused climate change, but won’t commit to calling it a crisis. (Climate Central, Huffington Post)

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RENEWABLE ENERGY:
• Hawaii’s biggest electric utility has a new plan to achieve 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. (Utility Dive)
• The U.S. is falling behind Asian countries when it comes to investments in energy innovation, but Donald Trump has an opportunity to reverse the trend. (Greentech Media)

SOLAR:
• A utility-scale solar farm that’s equipped with inverters and software controls can help stabilize the grid, according to a series of tests performed in California last summer. (Greentech Media)
• With community solar projects on the rise, developers must decide whether subscriptions or sales is the best business approach. (Utility Dive)

WIND:
• The Pentagon says claims by Republican lawmakers in North Carolina that a nearly completed wind farm will interfere with a military radar installation are unfounded. (Associated Press)
• By rejecting seismic testing and scheduling lease sales for what could become the first offshore wind farm in the Carolinas, President Obama has charted a path for offshore energy in the Southeast. (Southeast Energy News)

HYDRO: The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation reaches a settlement over allegations that the agency released oil and other pollutants from a Washington dam into the Columbia River without a required permit. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR: Secretary of energy nominee Rick Perry says Nevada’s Yucca Mountain could still potentially be used to house nuclear waste, despite intense opposition. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

POLLUTION: A pipeline roughly 30 miles off the coast of Louisiana is leaking natural gas and liquid hydrocarbons into the Gulf of Mexico, according to federal regulators. (Associated Press)

PIPELINES:
• Federal energy regulators are investigating a gas pipeline company for failing to charge “just and reasonable” rates, which would be in violation of the Natural Gas Act. (Houston Business Journal)
• The U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issues a rule requiring operators to give faster notification following a spill. (Reuters)
• Conflicts escalate at a Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp in North Dakota, with police arresting nearly 40 people so far this week. (Reuters)
• A group of landowners in North Dakota is suing the developer of the Dakota Access Pipeline for allegedly using deceitful and fraudulent practices to acquire land easements, following similar accusations against the company from landowners in Iowa. (Associated Press)
• Pressure is mounting to shut down two oil pipelines that cross a channel between Lakes Michigan and Huron, which has been called “the worst possible place” for a spill in the Great Lakes. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

COAL:
• A federal appeals court upholds the conviction of former Massey Energy CEO Donald Blankenship, who was found guilty of conspiracy for his role in a 2010 coal mine explosion that killed 29 workers in West Virginia. (Reuters)
• Following an environmental assessment, federal officials approve a plan to allow a coal mine in northwestern Colorado to stay open. (Denver Business Journal)
• A 2015 rule on coal ash storage has put citizens in charge of investigating the safety of two Illinois coal ash impoundments that have “high hazard potential.” (Midwest Energy News)
Shareholders take coal giant Peabody Energy to court, alleging their stocks should not be wiped out as part of the company’s bankruptcy plan.

COMMENTARY: Cutting greenhouse gasses would help Donald Trump achieve his economic goals. (Scientific American)

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