U.S. Energy News

EPA withdraws decades-old Clean Air Act rule for power plants

EMISSIONS: The U.S. EPA is withdrawing the “once-in always-in” Clean Air Act provision that requires major emitters like power plants to always be treated as a major source of emissions. (Reuters)

CLIMATE: Fossil fuel developments on U.S. public lands emit more greenhouse gases than most countries, according to a report released by The Wilderness Society. (Grist)

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SOLAR:
• Analysts and utilities are cautiously optimistic that solar investments will continue despite a 30 percent tariff on imported solar panels. (Utility Dive)
• The Navajo Nation will build a 27-megawatt solar farm in Arizona. (Associated Press)
• California-based SunPower will suspend plans for a $20 million factory expansion until it hears whether its solar panels will receive an exclusion from federal tariffs. (Reuters)
• New Jersey-based NRG Energy breaks ground on what it calls the largest block of grid-scale solar power ever installed in Hawaii. (Pacific Business News)

RENEWABLES: Massachusetts officials select Eversource’s Northern Pass to transport hydropower from Quebec via a 192-mile transmission line that will run through New Hampshire. (Boston Herald)

ELECTRIC CARS: A proposal being reviewed by state regulators would give Maryland the second largest electric vehicle charging network in the U.S. (Greentech Media)

ADVOCACY: The Sierra Club accuses Ford of “greenwashing” while lobbying the Trump administration to roll back vehicle efficiency and emissions standards. (Mother Jones)

OIL & GAS:
• Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski will ask Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to remove sensitive offshore areas of Alaska from a proposed to increase oil and gas drilling in federal waters. (Reuters)
• Critics point to a conflict of interest if a proposed $1 billion natural gas plant by DTE Energy in southeast Michigan becomes a customer of a pipeline co-owned by an affiliated company. (Midwest Energy News)
• A new $150 million natural gas processing plant is planned for western North Dakota to help capture the record amount of gas coming as a byproduct of the state’s oil production. (Associated Press)

FRACKING: Environmentalists cheer a decision to ban fracking in the Delaware River Basin but say it doesn’t go far enough. (The News Journal)

NUCLEAR: A bill that would provide subsidies to nuclear power plants in New Jersey has gotten a makeover and now includes clean energy initiatives. (Associated Press)

UTILITIES: Apple, Facebook and Google are the latest companies to challenge Duke Energy’s plans to raise electricity rates in North Carolina. The tech firms’ criticized Duke’s request that ratepayers foot the bill for a now-failed nuclear project and electric system upgrades. (Charlotte Observer)

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GREEN JOBS: A consortium of Illinois community colleges wants state utility leaders and regulators to prioritize accredited programs when doling out money from a state energy jobs training fund. (Midwest Energy News)

COMMENTARY:
• President Trump should embrace the advanced energy industry as a key contributor to America’s growing energy dominance, says the senior vice president for policy and government affairs for Advanced Energy Economy. (The Hill)
• The Trump administration should use proceeds from a new solar tariff to invest in a giant American factory to manufacture solar panels, says the president and co-founder of Generate Capital. (Quartz)
• Placing tariffs on imported products is a protectionist policy that has been shown to harm U.S. consumers, a Chicago Tribune columnist says, and it will likely harm the U.S. solar industry.

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