U.S. Energy News

EPA official under scrutiny for fossil fuel ties

FOSSIL FUELS: The EPA’s inspector general will investigate allegations that the agency’s former air quality chief violated ethics rules by meeting with former clients from the oil, gas and coal industries. (The New York Times) 

ALSO:
Former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke dismisses ethics inquiries as “BS” as he goes to work for companies regulated by his former department. (Bloomberg)
• An appeals court will not reopen a lawsuit challenging federal regulators’ analysis of greenhouse gas emissions from pipelines. (E&E News)
Dozens of California cities, including San Francisco, look to follow Berkeley’s lead in limiting new natural gas connections. (InsideClimate News, KRON)

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RENEWABLES: A new North Carolina law requires state environmental regulators to set decommissioning rules for utility-scale solar and wind farms by the start of 2022. (Energy News Network)

WIND:
• Analysts are still bullish on offshore wind, but Vineyard Wind’s recent hiccups illustrate the industry’s challenges. (E&E News)
• Wind energy researchers are testing drones and crawling robots to inspect turbines as a safer alternative to sending people up and down. (Greentech Media)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Fading policy support for electric vehicles in the U.S. and China could postpone peak oil, according to a new report. (Greentech Media)
• Ford says an electric prototype of its F-150 truck can tow more than 1 million pounds, eclipsing the towing capacity of other electric trucks. (Detroit News)

STORAGE: An MIT materials science and engineering professor discusses how new battery technology could be key to cutting carbon emissions. (NPR)

COAL:
• The West Virginia House passes a bill exempting a coal-fired power plant from paying a $12.5 million tax to help it make it more profitable. (Associated Press)
• More than 100 coal miners in Washington pressure Congress and mine safety regulators to address the black lung disease epidemic. (NPR)
Diminishing returns from fossil fuels have contributed to Wyoming’s smallest budget in decades. (Casper Star-Tribune)

NUCLEAR: Ohio House lawmakers could vote as early as today on a bill for nuclear subsidies, a week earlier than planned. (Toledo Blade)

CLIMATE: A federal judge says Rhode Island’s lawsuit against 21 oil and gas companies for climate change liability should remain in state court. (The Hill)

UTILITIES:
New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio suggests a government takeover of Con Edison following two power failures in eight days. (Bloomberg)
• Con Edison says last week’s heatwave forced it to cut power to parts of the city to protect equipment from overheating amid record demand. (New York Times)

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OVERSIGHT:
• A former member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says a vacancy could delay important decisions related to the nation’s electric grid. (E&E News)
A majority of Michigan’s Public Service Commission now has clean energy expertise after two appointments this year. (Energy News Network)

COMMENTARY:
• An expert at the Rocky Mountain Institute writes that replacing gas for home heating and cooking can slash emissions and lower housing costs. (The Hill)
• If Oregon youth prevail in their climate lawsuit, what happens next? (Grist)
• A recent report predicting more intense heat waves in the Midwest is a call to action for clean energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, advocates say. (Union of Concerned Scientists)

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