U.S. Energy News

EPA to reconsider fuel efficiency targets

POLLUTION: U.S. automakers are expected to reach an agreement with the Trump administration over rolling back emissions requirements for new cars and trucks. (New York Times)

ALSO: Environmental groups say planned EPA budget cuts will particularly hurt communities of color, with the campaign director of the Sierra Club calling it “just racist.” (The Guardian)

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POLITICS: President Trump received almost $1 million in energy-efficiency incentives and low-interest loans from New York State in 2012 for building an eco-friendly residential tower. (New York Times)

COAL: BNSF Railway resolves a Clean Water Act lawsuit by agreeing to clean up coal spilled from open-top freight cars. (Seattle Times)

OIL & GAS:
• An Oklahoma tribe is filing a lawsuit against several oil companies, alleging they caused a 5.8-magnitude earthquake that damaged tribal buildings. (New York Times)
• Air quality officials in Southern California vote to impose tougher rules on emissions from oil refineries as part of a 15-year smog-reduction plan. (Los Angeles Times)
• A federal appeals court refuses to revive a lawsuit that accuses oil and gas companies of threatening hurricane levees in the New Orleans area by digging exploration and production canals through coastal wetlands. (Times-Picayune)
• Despite promises from President Trump, the Keystone XL oil pipeline won’t be required to use American steel because the directive only applies to new pipelines and Keystone is already under construction. (Associated Press)
• More hackers are attempting to steal trade secrets and disrupt operations at oil and gas companies, which are particularly susceptible to cybercrime, according to Homeland Security. (Associated Press)

PIPELINES:
• U.S. and tribal officials want the developers of the Dakota Access Pipeline to release information about spill response plans and pipeline features, which the company has asked a federal judge to shield. (Associated Press)
• A United Nations official says authorities used unnecessary force against Dakota Access Pipeline protesters and the concerns of Native Americans haven’t been adequately addressed. (Associated Press)
• The Georgia Senate approves a bill that would require petroleum pipeline companies to obtain a certificate of need from the state, making it more difficult to use the power of eminent domain to take private property. (Atlanta Business Chronicle)

POLLUTION: Environmental groups are suing over alleged pollution violations at a Texas oil refinery, saying the owners “need to be held accountable for thousands of releases of dangerous pollution into the community.” (Reuters)

NUCLEAR: • Georgia Power defends using ratepayer funds for preliminary work on a now-suspended nuclear project. (E&E News)

SOLAR:
• Solar industry experts believe a Pennsylvania policy that prevents companies from selling energy to surrounding states is preventing business growth. (Tribune-Review)
• The Natural Resources Council of Maine is promising to fight to overturn new net metering restrictions that gradually reducing incentives for new customers. (Utility Dive)
• How solar companies are adapting to offer residential energy storage – an industry expected to reach over 600 megawatts annually by 2021. (Greentech Media)

HYDRO:
• Members of the House Committee on Natural Resources say endangered species protection rules are a barrier that creates a difficult market for hydro developers. (Hydro World)
Crews restart a power plant at Northern California’s Oroville Dam, which was closed last month due to flooding concerns. (Associated Press)

WIND: State regulators approve plans for the first commercial wind farm in Virginia. (Roanoke Times)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: New York state will begin offering up to $2,000 in rebates for zero-emission and plug-in electric hybrid vehicles. (Associated Press)

UTILITIES: At least 10 municipal utilities in Nebraska have chosen to stop or cut back on buying their power from the state’s largest utility, in search of lower prices and greater access to renewable energy. (Midwest Energy News)

COMMENTARY: Withdrawing from the Paris climate deal would be an enormous mistake and provoke sustained international outrage, says the Washington Post editorial board.

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