U.S. Energy News

Federal report urges Trump to respond to climate change threats

CLIMATE: A federal report by the Government Accountability Office is urging the Trump administration to begin formulating a response to climate change, saying rising temperatures could cost the country tens of billions in damages. (New York Times)

ALSO:
• Rising sea levels and human activities, including oil and gas extraction from the Gulf Coast, are creating a worst-case scenario for Native Americans of the Mississippi Delta, scientists say. (Science Daily)
• Nicaragua is moving to join the Paris climate agreement, leaving the U.S. and Syria as the only countries not participating in the pact. (Reuters)
• Lawmakers and protestors speak out against a Trump administration decision to prevent government scientists from presenting climate change research at a conference in Rhode Island this week. (Washington Post)

EMISSIONS: The EPA submits a proposal to repeal an Obama-era rule that created tougher emissions standards for truck components. (Washington Post)

POLICY:
• Eight former federal energy regulators sign a letter calling the Department of Energy’s plan to prop up coal and nuclear plants “a significant step backward,” saying it would raise prices and disrupt electricity markets. (Associated Press)
• Grid operator PJM says the Energy Department’s plan is “simply unworkable” and “contrary to law.” (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

BIOFUEL:
• The convenience store chain Sheetz added 340 biofuel-capable fuel pumps at 77 locations in Pennsylvania with the help of a $7 million federal grant. (Pittsburgh Business Times)
• A British biofuel company plans to build a refinery in Mississippi that will turn wood into the equivalent of diesel or jet fuel. (Associated Press)

SOLAR:
• A renewable energy developer is spending nearly $1 billion on solar farms in Oregon. (Associated Press/Statesman Journal)
• A solar co-op innovator is expanding, with a goal of establishing operations in all 50 states by the end of 2018 while also empowering homeowners. (Southeast Energy News)

STORAGE: Concentrated solar power is driving the development of molten salt energy storage. (Greentech Media)

WIND: A stalled wind project in northeast Nebraska will be resurrected and bigger than initially planned after Facebook announced it would buy energy from it. (Omaha World-Herald)

RENEWABLES: A look at five U.S. communities ― Aspen, Colorado; Greensburg, Kansas; Burlington, Vermont; Kodiak Island, Alaska; and Rock Port, Missouri ― that have purchased 100 percent renewable energy. (Huffington Post)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: The Department of Energy announces $15 million for research projects on batteries and electric vehicle technology that enable extreme fast charging of 15 minutes or less. (Utility Dive)

NUCLEAR:
• The Department of Energy announces $20 million in funding for a research program designed to increase the competitiveness of nuclear power by developing new technologies. (Utility Dive)
• A look at how problems snowballed for now-bankrupt Westinghouse, after selling plants in South Carolina, Georgia and China to kick off what was supposed to be a nuclear renaissance. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

COAL:
• Companies around the world are closing their coal-fired power plants, with the U.S. trailing India and China for the most firms exiting the coal-fired electricity sector. (Quartz)
• Nine projects designed to lessen pollution from burning coal receive $12 million in funding from the Department of Energy. (Utility Dive)
• An employee of a West Virginia coal mining operation is found dead, nearly doubling the number of U.S. coal mining deaths from last year. (Associated Press)
• Researchers at the University of Michigan find the lifetime toxic chemical releases associated with coal-generated electricity are 10 to 100 times greater than those from fracking. (Phys.org)

PIPELINES:
• FERC grants a presidential permit for a controversial natural gas pipeline that will cross the Texas-Mexico border. (San Antonio Business Journal)
• A group of U.S. lawmakers asks the Department of Justice whether activists’ shutting down oil pipelines constitutes domestic terrorism. (Reuters)

UTILITIES: Florida Power & Light files a petition to build a new gas-fired power unit, saying it would be almost $1.3 billion cheaper than using solar power. (Utility Dive)

COMMENTARY:
• Voting “no” on oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge should be a no-brainer for members of Congress who claim to care about climate change, says the founder of the climate campaign 350.org. (Los Angeles Times)
• Two guest columnists say we owe it to hurricane victims in Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico and elsewhere to modernize the electric grid. (New York Times)
• The Trump administration’s proposal to boost coal and nuclear power in the U.S. is a costly bailout that should be rejected, says a clean energy attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

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