U.S. Energy News

EPA considers dropping Alaska from climate change rule

CLEAN POWER PLAN:
The EPA is considering excusing Alaska from its climate change regulation of power plants, the agency chief told Senator Lisa Murkowski Wednesday. (Alaska Dispatch News)
A low-carbon future is “inevitable,” and the EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan will provide market certainty for utilities as they continue to transition, Administrator Gina McCarthy said. (Bloomberg BNA)
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) grilled EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy Wednesday during a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s subpanel with authority over the EPA’s budget. (The Hill)

ALSO:
The House Energy and Commerce Committee voted Wednesday to delay the Obama administration’s landmark climate rule for power plants and let states opt out of complying with it. (The Hill)
• New Orleans-based utility giant Entergy Corp. is puzzling out how it would respond should the proposed Clean Power Plan survive legal challenges. (EnergyWire)

EMISSIONS:
New data from the U.S. Department of Energy shows that overall U.S. energy consumption is slowing and is not expected to grow much at all over the next 25 years despite both a growing economy and population. (Climate Central)
California’s governor issued an executive order Wednesday sharply ramping up this state’s already ambitious program aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions. (The New York Times)
 The world’s biggest fossil fuel companies are taking a defiant stance against warnings that reserves of coal, oil and gas are already several times larger than can be burned safely. (Guardian)
FRACKING: Environmentalists say allowing more fracking on federal lands would threaten an area already stressed from the drying up of the Colorado River. (Guardian)
HYDRO: Hydroelectricity, after decades of fits and starts, has been growing in the past several years, according to a new U.S. Department of Energy assessment. (InsideClimate News)
WIND: A federal analysis of avian mortality at utility-scale solar facilities released earlier this week was unable to determine the cumulative impact on birds posed from the 1-megawatt-or-greater solar installations. (Greenwire)
SOLAR: Xcel Energy announced plans Tuesday to strictly limit the size of community solar projects in Minnesota. (Midwest Energy News)
UNIVERSITIES: Universities across the country have been making the decision to add solar, wind, and other renewables to help offset their energy use—and utilities are getting involved. (Fierce Energy)

CONSERVATION: New York City officials on Wednesday weighed a bill to limit internal and external light use in many commercial buildings when empty at night. (The New York Times)

COMMENTARY: In California and around the world, water supply and carbon-based energy production are locked in a destructive feedback cycle. (Bloomberg View)

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