U.S. Energy News

EPA to change accounting for coal pollution impacts

COAL: Sources say the U.S. EPA plans to adopt a new method for calculating health risks of air pollution that has never been peer-reviewed, and would slash an estimate for premature deaths caused by its new rule on coal plant emissions. (New York Times)

ALSO:
A Tennessee Valley Authority contractor faces another lawsuit on behalf of 119 workers who say they were exposed to toxins a decade ago while cleaning up the nation’s largest coal ash spill. (Knoxville News Sentinel)
Major utilities transition from coal, even in conservative states, despite the Trump administration’s effort to revive the industry. (Salon)

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RENEWABLES:
• A New Jersey Senate committee endorses a 100% renewables by 2050 proposal despite some business groups saying the target is too soon. (NJ Spotlight)
• As coal plants retire in PJM’s territory, the void has been largely filled by natural gas even though renewables dominate interconnection requests. (Greentech Media)
Kentucky could generate all the carbon-free electricity it needs to power the state, say researchers at a Louisville renewable lab. (WFPL)

SOLAR:
A Missouri solar installer emphasizes hiring military veterans at a much higher rate than the industry average. (Energy News Network)
• Maine legislation would boost solar energy development as the state tries to catch up with the rest of New England. (Energy News Network)
After a 2016 fire damaged a Washington reservation, tribal members invest in solar and batteries and expect to save $2.8 million over 35 years. (CleanTechnica)

WIND: Developers scrap plans to build two wind energy projects in Oklahoma, including one that was halted because of concerns it would interfere with low-level military training air routes. (Oklahoman)

BUILDINGS: A widespread switch from gas to electric heat that some experts say will be crucial for achieving Minnesota’s carbon emission goals isn’t happening just yet. (Energy News Network)

EFFICIENCY:
• The use of programs that nudge utility customers to conserve power could be backfiring because people overestimate the impact they have. (Grist)
• A bill in Massachusetts would require all new buildings in most cities to meet net zero standards. (Energy News Network)

PIPELINES:
• States like Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana crack down on environmental activists by enacting harsher penalties for pipeline protesters. (Sierra Magazine)
Columbia Gas Transmission sues Maryland in federal court over its denial of a permit needed to build a pipeline in the western part of the state. (Baltimore Sun)

OIL & GAS:
Ohio is among states with a large number of orphan oil and gas wells that are increasing safety concerns. (E&E News, subscription)
• Retired oil rigs off the coast of California could be used as artificial reefs in the Gulf of Mexico. (The Conversation)

GRID: New York regulators approve policy changes meant to send more accurate price signals to encourage adoption of distributed energy resources. (Utility Dive)

OVERSIGHT:
• Under the Trump administration, the EPA is delegating more public health and environmental regulation to states. (Associated Press)
• Several utility regulators in the Southeast vie to be president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. (E&E News, subscription)

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CLIMATE: A meeting of leaders from Midwestern universities scheduled for early next year will focus on climate change mitigation and transitioning to 100% clean energy. (E&E News, subscription)

POLITICS:
• The head of the American Wind Energy Association says President Trump’s diatribes against wind power could cost him politically in several key states where wind jobs are proliferating. (E&E News, subscription)
• Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg calls for a carbon tax as part of his climate action agenda. (The Hill)

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