U.S. Energy News

Environmental groups sue to block Trump administration’s offshore drilling order

ADVOCACY:
• A coalition of environmental groups is suing the Trump administration over an executive order seeking to expand offshore drilling, saying the move is illegal and “asserts authority that Congress did not give.” (The Hill)
• About a dozen environmental and public health groups file a lawsuit against the EPA to stop it from overturning regulations that limit water pollution from coal-fired power plants. (Associated Press)

CLIMATE: A dozen governors send a letter asking President Trump not to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, saying “climate change will cost the world’s nations several trillion dollars in damages.” (Los Angeles Times)

OIL & GAS:
• The company responsible for a fatal home explosion in Colorado caused by a leaking gas line says it is “very saddened” by the event, while the governor predicts a revived debate about buffer zones between new homes and oil and gas wells. (Longmont Times-Call, Denver Business Journal)
• Ohio legislators add a budget provision that would allow the legislature to control appointments to the state’s Oil and Gas Commission instead of the governor, a move critics say could open up drilling and fracking in state parks. (Reuters)
• Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company takes 100 percent ownership of North America’s largest oil refinery in Texas. (Washington Post)
• A 2015 explosion at an Exxon Mobil refinery in California was caused by the use of outdated equipment and procedures, according to a federal agency finding. (Los Angeles Times)

PIPELINES:
Hundreds of residents show up to a Nebraska Public Service Commission hearing to voice their opinion on the Keystone XL pipeline, as the state becomes a battleground over the project. (Lincoln Journal Star, Guardian)
• An Ohio city pursues a lawsuit to block a natural gas pipeline from being built in the community. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR: By allowing the nuclear power industry to stagnate, the U.S. is losing a significant element of its geopolitical influence, according to a new study. (Daily Caller)

BIOFUEL: Congress’ spending agreement directs several federal agencies to start defining wood energy as climate friendly, despite the fuel sometimes rivaling coal in its climate impacts. (Climate Central)

RENEWABLES: A decision by Iowa lawmakers to end a tax credit for large renewable energy projects is pressing developers to finish their projects before the end of the year. (Midwest Energy News)

SOLAR:
• A North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center report finds regulators in many states are reluctant to support utility efforts to restrict rooftop solar. (PV Magazine)
• The country’s largest independent rooftop solar company takes a hit after a report that the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating whether it adequately disclosed numbers of lost customers. (Bloomberg)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A plan by American Electric Power to expand Ohio’s electric vehicle charging network would drive out competitors and hurt the market, according to a national EV charging group. (Columbus Business First)

POLITICS: Dominion Virginia Power tries to cast itself in populist terms as candidates for state office reject its campaign money. (Washington Post)

POLICY: Republican senators are threatening to thwart legislation to repeal an Obama-era rule that limits methane emissions from oil and natural gas drilling on federal lands in order to secure a vote to overturn a federal ethanol policy. (The Hill)

COMMENTARY:
• The U.S. auto industry needs fuel-efficiency gains to remain globally competitive, says a senator from Massachusetts. (Huffington Post)
• The Paris climate agreement could help the rural U.S. by creating jobs in the forest sector, says the vice president of program development at The Trust for Public Land. (Huffington Post)

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