U.S. Energy News

EPA proposes to limit “secret science” used at the agency

EPA:
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt signs a directive restricting the type of scientific findings that can be used by the agency, which critics say will block the use of critical pollution research. (Vox, InsideClimate News)
Pruitt will face questions over his ethics scandals at two House committee hearings Thursday, while lawmakers in the Senate call for their own hearings. (CNBC, Politico)

BIOMASS: Environmental groups criticize the EPA’s recent decision to consider biomass to be carbon neutral, which the agency acknowledges was not based on a scientific determination. (E&E News, Washington Post)

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WASTE-TO-ENERGY: Students, staff and parents are concerned about smells, pollution, and truck traffic from a proposed waste-to-energy facility across the street from a Gary, Indiana, charter school. (Midwest Energy News)

RENEWABLES: Tech companies like Google and Amazon have played a key role in expanding wind and solar in the United States. (USA Today)

SOLAR:
San Francisco and City University of New York are working on best practices for using solar-plus-storage to boost resiliency. (Greentech Media)
Florida-based NextEra Energy plans more solar and solar-plus-storage projects with Florida Power & Light. (PV Magazine)
Duke Energy opens two solar farms in northern Kentucky that are among the largest in the state. (Cincinnati Enquirer)

STORAGE: New FERC provisions could benefit energy storage providers by allowing them to avoid costly transmission system upgrades. (Utility Dive)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Target will add more than 600 EV charging stations at over 100 stores, compared to only 18 stations in five states today. (The Drive)

CARBON CAPTURE: A Japanese company and research center will test new carbon capture technology in Wyoming. (Associated Press)

UTILITIES:
A new ratemaking law in Hawaii establishes incentives and penalties aimed at improving service and expanding options for home solar and batteries. (Greentech Media)
Critics say FirstEnergy’s multiple attempts to limit competition for its coal and nuclear plants would come at ratepayers’ expense. (Midwest Energy News)

COAL:
Eastern Kentucky officials approve a deal to give a coal company millions of dollars in tax breaks to save 250 jobs. (Lexington Herald Leader)
Two mines owned by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice missed a deadline to install mine safety technology that protects miners from being crushed to death by machinery. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
Dozens of environmentalists speak out against proposed changes to EPA coal ash rules at the agency’s one and only hearing in Arlington, Virginia. (Associated Press)

PIPELINES:
FERC grants permission for Mountain Valley Pipeline developers to cut trees in Jefferson National Forest. (WV Metro News)
A natural gas pipeline operator will pay $610,000 to settle air pollution violations in Pennsylvania. (Associated Press)
A Minnesota judge recommends that a proposed oil pipeline follows an existing corridor through two Indian reservations, elevating the concerns of Native Americans who are fighting to keep the project off their lands. (InsideClimate News)

ADVOCACY: More than 120 groups urge Congress to oppose legislation that would weaken protections for national parks and monuments, which have been targeted for fossil fuel development by the Trump administration. (The Hill)

GRID:
• Blockchain companies looking to democratize the grid with peer-to-peer software seek to work collaboratively with Illinois’ largest utilities. (Midwest Energy News)
• American Electric Power plans to invest $12.8 billion in transmission and distribution and $1.7 billion in renewable energy by 2020. (Columbus Business First)

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CLIMATE:
A study of more than 600 top U.S. companies found that 64 percent have promised to reduce emissions, but only 36 percent have set deadlines for action. (InsideClimate News)
An affordable housing shortage in cities is contributing to air pollution and climate change by forcing people to live farther from their work. (Quartz)

COMMENTARY: The founding editor of ClimateProgress writes that “the global shift toward cheaper, cleaner energy is unstoppable.” (ThinkProgress)

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