U.S. Energy News

Exxon will invest $50 billion to expand U.S. business

OIL & GAS: Exxon plans to invest more than $50 billion in the United States over the next five years with the help of new tax cuts for corporations, creating “thousands” of jobs. (Associated Press)

ALSO:
• Colorado’s Supreme Court will review a lower court’s ruling over how much state oil and gas regulators must consider public health and environmental impacts before issuing new drilling permits. (Longmont Times-Call)
• Washington’s governor rejects a permit that would have allowed the country’s largest oil-by-rail terminal to be built in the state. (The Hill)
• A resurgence in U.S. oil production is “being felt around the world” as Washington gains the freedom to apply sanctions on other producers with far less risk to the global economy. (New York Times)
• Five major oil and gas companies propose a 5,000-well oil and gas project in central Wyoming that’s expected to create more than 8,000 jobs. (Associated Press)
• Texas drillers are producing oil at near record highs, but the state’s oil and gas workforce remains at a seven-year low. (Houston Chronicle)

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COAL:
• Coal producers lobby the Trump administration and sue Washington state and California for blocking coal export projects on environmental grounds. (Reuters)
• Colstrip, Montana, lays plans for an eventual closure of the West’s second-largest coal-fired power plant. (Billings Gazette)

RENEWABLES: Michigan regulators’ decision to replace an aging coal plant with gas units was a setback for Upper Peninsula clean energy groups, but advocates still see opportunities to expand solar and efficiency. (Midwest Energy News)

WIND:
• Northeast states are leading the push for offshore wind on the Atlantic coast. (Bloomberg BNA)
• Transmission constraints could complicate New York’s push for 2,400 MW of offshore wind by 2030. (RTO Insider)

SOLAR:
• The North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center releases its quarterly 50 States of Solar report analyzing solar policy actions around the country. (pv magazine)
• A Vermont solar company is shuttering after eight years, citing in part the Trump administration’s tariffs on imported solar panels. (Brattleboro Reformer)

STORAGE: Tesla considers investing in a lithium processing plant in Chile as demand for the battery ingredient soars. (Quartz)

POLITICS: A Wyoming senator delays the confirmation of President Trump‘s nominee to oversee the DOE’s environmental cleanup programs, saying the department must first stop re-selling excess government-owned uranium. (The Hill)

EPA: The EPA’s internal watchdog office says 2019 budget cuts proposed by the Trump administration would pose a “significant challenge” to its ability to accomplish agency oversight. (The Hill)

CLIMATE:
• New Jersey will rejoin the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative as part of a growing effort by states to take action reducing emissions as the Trump administration rolls back federal climate initiatives. (NJ.com, New York Times)
• EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt personally urged employees to remove information about climate change from the agency’s site, according to emails obtained by the Environmental Defense Fund. (ThinkProgress)
• In an interview Sunday, President Trump made multiple misleading statements on climate change. (New York Times)

EMISSIONS:
• Emission factors used by the U.S. EPA to measure air pollution from industrial sources like power plants are mostly unreliable. (Center for Public Integrity)
• The EPA accepts part of a scaled-back haze-reduction plan from Arkansas, though the most contentious part of the plan is not final. (Associated Press, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

COMMENTARY:
• NextEra Energy CEO predicts it will be cheaper to build new renewables than to continue running existing coal and nuclear plants by the early 2020s. (Vox)
• EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt adopts stalling as a technique to give industries relief from environmental rules, while the agency retains plausible deniability, says a writer at Vox.
• A Michigan utility’s plan to build a $1 billion natural gas plant is hundreds of millions dollars more expensive than a clean energy approach, according to a coalition of environmental groups. (Union of Concerned Scientists)
• President Trump has been quick to celebrate the 771 net coal workers hired last year, but this small gain has also been accompanied by a surge in deaths of the workers in the industry. (Newsweek)

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