Northeast Energy News

Federal approval won’t end fight over PennEast pipeline

PIPELINES:
Federal regulators conditionally approved the controversial PennEast pipeline project that will stretch from Pennsylvania to New jersey. (Lehigh Valley Live)

ALSO:
• The PennEast project still needs to pass other hurdles such as securing federal and state permits before it can move forward. (NJ Spotlight)
• A protest is scheduled for Monday in New Jersey to oppose the PennEast pipeline project. (MyCentralJersey.com)
• A religious order of nuns don’t have grounds to object to a Pennsylvania pipeline project because its religious freedom argument was never brought to the federal agency that approved the project, says a lawyer. (Associated Press)

WIND:
• An offshore wind energy project in Maine continues to face challenges, namely finalizing plans for a transmission cable route. (Bangor Daily News)
Nine wind turbines could come to Arcade, New York as part of a larger wind farm project. (The Daily News)
A New York assemblywoman has introduced legislation to prevent the state from subsidizing wind farms within ten miles of a military reservation. (Watertown Daily Times)
A Rhode Island town seeks answers from state regulators about an increase in electricity prices, which local officials blame on costs associated with an offshore wind farm. (Block Island Times)

POLICY: The New Jersey legislature is expected to take up several bills that former Gov. Chris Christie vetoed, including a bill requiring the state to re-enter the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. (NJ.com)

OFFSHORE DRILLING:
• Connecticut’s governor Dannel Malloy has joined the chorus of Atlantic coast governors who to be exempted from the Trump administration’s offshore drilling plan. (Patch.com)
• Meanwhile, the acting director of the federal agency in charge of offshore oil and gas leases says Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s announcement that Florida would be exempt from an offshore drilling expansion plan was “not a formal action” nor a final decision.  (New York Times)
• The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will hold a public information session in Rhode Island this week on the plan. (Providence Journal)

OIL AND GAS: The largest refinery on the East Coast declares bankruptcy; owners blame the cost of complying with federal biofuel requirements. (Bloomberg)

COAL: In a settlement with environmental groups, a coal company agrees not to longwall mine near a stream that runs through a Pennsylvania state park. (NPR)

TRANSMISSION: Proponents of the Northern Pass hydropower project in New Hampshire have filed a final brief with state regulators citing no view impacts with the project – but opponents are skeptical. (Associated Press)

BIOENERGY: A pilot program in South Portland, Maine is converting residential food waste into electricity, with participation rates increasing since its inception last year. (Press Herald)

SOLAR:
• A solar project in New York has been delayed due to bad weather and interconnection issues between the project’s electricity provider and equipment supplier. (Watertown Daily Times)
• A new 2.6 MW solar array will provide roughly one third of a Pennsylvania wastewater authority’s electricity needs. (Solar Power World)
• A developer seeks to build community solar projects on landfills throughout southern Vermont. (VT Digger)
• Critics say a Massachusetts utility’s new demand charge fails to account for the benefits of solar power to the grid. (Boston Globe)

EFFICIENCY: After two winters, the owners of a Vermont passive house say their energy bills are running roughly $75 a month. (WCAX)

COMMENTARY:
• The Daily Record editorial board says that despite approval from federal regulators, the fight over the PennEast pipeline project is not over because New Jersey regulators haven’t approved the project.
• Preserving nuclear power in New Jersey is in the state’s best interest because closing nuclear plans would lead to job loss, higher energy prices, and affect the state’s economy, says New Jersey’s senate president. (NJ.com)
• Vermont’s ESSEX Plan gives state lawmakers an opportunity to reduce emissions and local pollution, says a member of a carbon pricing advocacy group. (VTDigger)
• The Daily Star editorial board says that the region hasn’t benefited from the development of natural gas pipelines due to opposition.

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