U.S. Energy News

EPA proposal could make it easier to pollute air, water

REGULATION: An EPA proposal would limit the use of scientific studies in agency rulemaking, including the type that has been used for decades to set limits on mercury emissions from power plants. (New York Times)

POLITICS:
Some environmentalists are disappointed that former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has invested millions in an effort to close coal-fired power plants, could spend his money on a long-shot presidential bid. (Washington Post)
• California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s campaigns and his wife’s foundation have accepted more than $700,000 from utility PG&E. (Washington Post)
Former coal baron and ex-convict Don Blankenship says he will enter the presidential race as a third-party candidate. (The Hill)

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COAL:
There’s no scientific merit for the Trump administration’s regulatory rollback of coal ash rules, a Duke University researcher says. (Coastal Review Online)
• Late-night show host John Oliver says bankrupt Murray Energy has dropped its defamation lawsuit against him. (E&E News, subscription)
Time is running out on plans to build an 895 MW power plant in Kansas, which is the only new coal-fired power plant being planned in America today. (E&E News, subscription)

OIL & GAS:
A think tank’s report warns that the Permian Basin oil boom could worsen water shortages in drought-prone parts of the West. (Reuters)
Permian Basin shale companies are preparing to pump less oil and natural gas as financial pressures mount. (Wall Street Journal, subscription)

PIPELINES:
Opposition to the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines remains strong in Virginia even while the projects are tangled up in legal battles. (WMRA)
• National Grid will use trucked compressed natural gas to supply New England during the harshest winter weather due to limited pipeline capacity. (S&P Global)
• The Keystone pipeline returns to service two weeks after it spilled 383,000 gallons of oil in North Dakota; the pipeline owner is still investigating the cause of the leak. (Associated Press)

EMISSIONS: U.S. investor-owned utilities plan protocols for natural gas suppliers to measure and disclose methane emissions. (E&E News, subscription)

EFFICIENCY: A Massachusetts city and utility partner to cut energy use and reduce emissions from the city’s largest buildings. (Energy News Network)

CLEAN ENERGY: Google says it was able to quickly procure 1.2 gigawatts of solar and wind this fall by using a “reverse auction” process. (Greentech Media, subscription)

BIOMASS: Wood-fired power plants in Michigan face an uncertain future in the coming years as they compete for utility contracts with wind and solar. (Energy News Network)

SOLAR: Seven early-stage solar manufacturing firms are selected for a $1 million U.S. Department of Energy grant to build new solar technology prototypes. (PV Magazine)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A Northeast utility’s venture fund is exploring vehicle-to-grid technology that would allow energy stored in an electric vehicle’s battery be used as a backup power source by the grid or a homeowner. (GreenBiz)

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UTILITIES:
• Utility executives say they need to adapt to a changing landscape that requires investments in cleaner technologies. (Daily Energy Insider)
PG&E is trying to offer $13.5 billion in compensation to victims of wildfires caused by its power lines as part of a restructuring plan, sources say. (Bloomberg)

COMMENTARY:
• Bad actors in the fossil fuel industry should be held financially accountable for their contribution to the climate crisis, say two Hawaii state lawmakers. (Civil Beat)
• Rural electric cooperative members discuss how they exercise ownership to lead co-ops toward energy efficiency and renewables. (Institute for Local Self-Reliance)
• A U.S. Army specialist says skills as an aircraft mechanic “transferred easily” into a wind turbine technician job. (American Wind Energy Association blog)

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