U.S. Energy News

EPA considers easing rules for mercury emissions

POWER PLANTS: The U.S. EPA considers easing Obama-era regulations on mercury emissions that have required pollution controls on coal plants. (Reuters)

ALSO:
• Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler dismisses concerns that the agency’s Clean Power Plan replacement increases the risk of premature deaths. (E&E News, subscription)
FirstEnergy Solutions says it will close Pennsylvania’s largest coal-fired power plant and its three remaining Ohio coal plants within the next four years. (StateImpact Pennsylvania, Columbus Dispatch)

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PIPELINES:
Federal regulators allow construction to resume on the Mountain Valley Pipeline in West Virginia and southwest Virginia. (Roanoke Times)
• More than two dozen pipeline activists were cited during protests in Minnesota against the Line 3 project. (Forum News Service)

OIL & GAS:
The New York attorney general’s office says its investigation into whether ExxonMobil misled investors about climate change risks is in the final phases. (InsideClimate News)
Skeptics question the financial sustainability of the fracking industry, which has been fueled by overheated investment capital. (The Guardian)
• A federal judge rules a West Virginia county must allow a natural gas compressor station, saying federal law supersedes local zoning rules. (ProPublica/Charleston Gazette-Mail)

NUCLEAR:
• The Trump administration files a friend of the court brief that supports overturning a uranium mining ban in Virginia. (Danville Register & Bee)
• Georgia residents worry Plant Vogtle will exacerbate pollution in an area already home to one of the nation’s most toxic waterways. (ThinkProgress)

RENEWABLES: “We need to talk about wind. We need to talk about solar.” A West Virginia business summit on coal’s comeback shifts to a conversation about the importance of renewable energy. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

SOLAR:
• Solar power saved New England $20 million in energy costs last month, including $1.3 million in Vermont, according to a new study. (VT Digger)
• Aggressive sales tactics, rising bills and poor installations contribute to a slowdown in leased solar on Long Island, an investigation finds. (Newsday)
• A University of Wisconsin-Madison professor bikes around the Midwest to raise awareness about clean energy in the region. (Energy News Network)

BIOFUELS:
• U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue tells Iowa farmers the Trump administration is committed to year-round ethanol sales. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)
Two companies team up to build a $120 million digester in Philadelphia that converts food waste into methane gas for trucks and buses. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

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POLITICS:
• A failed nuclear project has scrambled energy politics in deep-red South Carolina, bringing together a divergent coalition in support of clean energy. (Sierra)
• A U.S. senator requests documents related to an alleged “pay to play” scheme involving a Trump campaign donor seeking a $5 billion federal loan guarantee for an Alabama nuclear project. (ThinkProgress)
• West Virginia’s Supreme Court denies a last-minute bid by former coal CEO Don Blankenship to get on the November ballot. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY:
An Ohio clean energy advocate says opponents of the first offshore wind project in Lake Erie are “feckless and suffer from Not In My Back Yard syndrome.” (Crain’s Cleveland Business)
• Los Angeles’s plan to essentially turn Hoover Dam into a giant battery faces too many obstacles to overcome, says a University of Massachusetts professor who wrote a book about the dam’s construction. (The Conversation)

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