U.S. Energy News

EPA will reconsider Obama-era rule on coal ash waste

COAL:
• In a win for utility industry groups, the EPA is “granting petitions to reconsider specific provisions” of a rule regulating coal ash waste from power plants. (Reuters)
• The CEO of Mississippi Power Co. defends the failed Kemper “clean coal” plant, saying if money was “unlimited, I think we would have gotten there.” (Meridian Star)

OIL & GAS:
• Massive oil tanks in Oklahoma weren’t designed to withstand new seismic activity caused by fracking in the area, and it’s posing a threat to a small town that’s home to the world’s largest store of oil. (Politico)
• Development of natural gas plants across Ohio represent $10 billion in investment in new capacity that will also ratchet up the pressure on aging coal and nuclear plants in the region. (E&E News)
• A U.S. senator and North Dakota oil drillers want a new assessment on the amount of recoverable oil in the state, saying it would likely show stronger production potential and attract investment. (Associated Press)

PIPELINES:
• North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration is delaying until mid-December its decision on whether to approve the controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline project, pending additional information on its potential to impact more than 300 waterways. (Southeast Energy News)
• A government panel in New Jersey approves a plan to build a 30-mile natural gas pipeline in the Pinelands National Reserve. (Associated Press)
• New images show patches of protective coating larger than previously thought missing from Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac, and advocates say the state may be gearing up to take legal action against Enbridge to close the pipeline. (MLive)

POLLUTION: Following Hurricane Harvey, environmental groups find elevated levels of dangerous chemicals near a damaged storage tank at the Valero refinery in Houston. (Texas Tribune)

UTILITIES: A Florida Power & Light official says the utility hopes to restore power by Sunday evening to residents affected by Hurricane Irma. (Sun Sentinel)

WIND:
• Missouri-based brewing company Anheuser-Busch signs a deal to buy 152.2 megawatts of wind power from an Oklahoma wind farm. (St. Louis Business Journal)
• Apple Inc. breaks ground on a 202-megawatt wind farm in Oregon. (Portland Business Journal)

SOLAR:
• Panasonic says it will close a solar plant in Salem, Oregon, next month, leaving 92 people without jobs. (Associated Press)
• A new study highlights a lack of diversity in the solar industry. (Greentech Media)
• An Iowa utility looks to create two new rate classes for customers who generate some of their own energy, which advocates say could lead to new fees for distributed solar. (Midwest Energy News)

RENEWABLES:
• Officials in Hillsborough, North Carolina, set a goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2050, making it the first city in the state to do so and the 43rd in the country. (Solar Industry)
• Growth in renewable energy is booming, but it’s not happening fast enough to meet Paris climate goals, according to new reports. (Greentech Media)

GRID: The Department of Energy gives $50 million for distributed energy and grid modernization projects. (Greentech Media)

EFFICIENCY: New York City’s mayor announces a plan to force landlords to retrofit old buildings with more than 25,000 square feet of space to make them more energy efficient. (New York Times)

BIOGAS: Hawaii state regulators approve a utility’s plan to capture and process biogas from a wastewater treatment plant on Oahu, which is expected to generate an estimated $1.6 million in revenue annually. (Pacific Business News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Tesla founder Elon Musk tweets that he will unveil the company’s electric semitruck on Oct. 26. (Electrek)

CLIMATE: Florida Gov. Rick Scott is still facing criticism over his stance on global warming in the wake of Hurricane Irma, while President Trump seems to be downplaying the relationship, saying, “We’ve had bigger storms than this.” (Politico, Miami Herald)

POLICY: The new FERC chairman says the agency will evaluate whether to help preserve coal and nuclear plants during the transition to renewable energy sources. (Washington Examiner)

COMMENTARY:
• The executive director of the Presidential Climate Action Project breaks down President Trump’s description of coal being “beautiful” and “clean.” (Huffington Post)
• An analysis looks at the benefits of bipartisan support for a legislative effort to strengthen a tax credit for carbon capture and storage. (Washington Post)
• The demise of coal stems from its physical properties that “make it an inferior source of energy,” not politics, says a market analyst for Reuters.

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