U.S. Energy News

EPA ethanol decision expected to increase smog

BIOFUELS: The EPA approves year-round sales of gasoline with higher blends of ethanol, drawing praise from corn growers and criticism from the oil industry and environmental groups. (New York Times)

ALSO: Gasoline with higher blends of ethanol produces more nitrogen oxide, which leads to more ozone, a lung-damaging gas in smog. (Los Angeles Times)

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GRID:
• Grid operator PJM will study how to integrate varying state climate policies to keep costs and emissions from “leaking” into neighboring states. (Energy News Network)
• The U.S. Senate energy committee hears testimony this week on grid-scale energy storage, which could get a boost from a series of bills. (E&E News)
• The Tennessee Valley Authority expects to reduce carbon emissions 70% from 2005 levels by the end of the next decade, its CEO says. (Reuters)

SOLAR:
• Utilities across the U.S. are proposing fees for customers who generate their own solar power, which critics say overcharge customers. (NPR)
• New York regulators are considering a monthly fee on residential solar customers to support clean energy and efficiency programs. (Bloomberg)
• A Nebraska entrepreneur receives a $200,000 federal grant to devise a solar array that doubles as a shade structure in a cattle feedlot. (Energy News Network)

UTILITIES:
Major retailers including Walmart, Costco, and Target push Virginia regulators to let them buy power from sources other than Dominion Energy. (Washington Post)
Hawaii’s largest utility takes steps to swap out coal with renewables at a power plant, part of a broader effort to phase out fossil fuels. (Honolulu Civil Beat)

WIND: Massachusetts said it will double its commitments to offshore wind and pursue development of up to another 1,600 MW. (CommonWealth Magazine)

OIL & GAS: A Texas-based power producer drops plans to build a gas plant in Southern California, the latest in a string of similar cancellations. (Greentech Media)

PIPELINES:
• Michigan’s governor plans to meet with Enbridge this week over the future of the company’s Line 5 oil pipeline. (Detroit News)
• The Iowa Supreme Court denies an appeal by landowners who challenged the use of eminent domain for the Dakota Access pipeline. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)
A Texas district judge will soon decide the fate of the eminent domain lawsuit involving Kinder Morgan pipeline developers. (Houston Chronicle)

TRANSMISSION:
• A growing number of Maine towns oppose the proposed Clean Energy Connect power line, and several will hold town meetings this month to consider votes against it. (Sun Journal)
• New York utilities are increasingly seeking ways to improve service that do not require building new transmission infrastructure. (Utility Dive)

COAL: The Navajo Nation is bracing for the economic fallout from the approaching shutdown of the largest coal plant in the West. (Deseret News)

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CLIMATE:
A lawsuit over climate change led by a group of young activists faces a critical hearing in Oregon on Tuesday that could determine whether the case goes to trial. (The Oregonian)
• St. Paul, Minnesota’s climate action plan focuses on transportation as a key opportunity to reduce emissions, including increased transit, pedestrian and biking infrastructure. (Energy News Network)

COMMENTARY:
• David Roberts of Vox explains how smart policies are helping California lead the rest of the nation in energy efficiency.
• Rural electric cooperatives in Louisiana could help the state break free of fossil fuels, a renewable advocate says. (The Lens)

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