U.S. Energy News

Facebook, Microsoft and others launch major clean-energy push

RENEWABLES: Facebook, Microsoft and other companies form a Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance aimed at supporting 60 GW of clean energy by 2025. (Bloomberg)

ALSO:
• Major U.S. companies are already fueling “spectacular” growth in renewable energy sales. (Financial Times)
• A report reveals companies that have purchased 100% of their electricity from renewable sources. (Quartz)
• Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz explains why Texas should develop a clean energy plan. (Texas Tribune)

CLIMATE:
• The Obama administration issues the first regulations designed to cut methane emissions from new oil and gas operations. (New York Times)
• Colorado, which has already adopted tougher methane rules, is starting to see other benefits. (Colorado Public Radio)
• Environmental groups say the rules should also be applied to existing operations. (The Hill)

OIL & GAS:
• More than 88,000 gallons of crude oil spill into the Gulf of Mexico south of Louisiana due to a leak that has been capped. (New Orleans Times-Picayune)
• Industry groups sue the federal government over sage grouse protections. (Deseret News)

FRACKING: A new study says young children and infants are particularly at risk from airborne pollutants associated with fracking and drilling. (DeSmog)

COAL:
• Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship reports for a one-year prison sentence for his role in a deadly mine explosion. (Associated Press)
• Union Pacific says declining coal shipments leave it with less money to spend on infrastructure. (Wichita Eagle)

COAL ASH: A North Carolina epidemiologist says Duke Energy used its connections in state government to try to override health recommendations on water near coal ash ponds. (Winston-Salem Journal)

GRID: Utilities push back against a federal proposal to allow private citizens to sue parties seen as trying to manipulate power markets via regional grids that include several Southeast states. (EnergyWire, SNL)

SOLAR:
• A new report identifies states, primarily in the Midwest and Southeast, that have policies that hinder solar growth rather than encourage it. (Utility Dive)
• Clean energy advocates file a proposal with Minnesota regulators that would make it easier and faster to connect new solar projects to the grid. (Midwest Energy News)
• A New Jersey utility launches a streamlined application process for solar projects. (NJ.com)
• A Nevada solar thermal plant could serve as a model for similar projects in Australia. (The Guardian)
• Solar jobs have declined 35% in Hawaii after state regulators ended net metering there. (Utility Dive)

NUCLEAR:
• The head of a Nebraska utility calls for closing the country’s smallest nuclear plant by the end of the year because “it’s just not economically viable.” (Associated Press)
• Despite skepticism, small modular reactors may soon become a reality. (MIT Technology Review)

POLITICS: New research explores the social and psychological reasons people are reluctant to talk about climate change. (Washington Post)

COMMENTARY:
• Why SunEdison is not Solyndra. (Huffington Post)
• Republicans should embrace renewable energy, but on their own terms. (The Hill)

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