U.S. Energy News

Feds halt study on the health impacts of surface coal mining

COAL: The Interior Department orders a federal agency to halt a study on the health affects associated with living near surface mining sites in Appalachia, drawing criticism from environmental groups and Democrats. (Washington Post, New York Times)

ALSO:
• The Trump administration rebuffs an industry request to use an emergency order to protect coal plants. (Associated Press)
• It isn’t likely that any major coal-fired plants will be built, even though the Trump administration vowed to revive the declining coal industry. (E&E News)
• A firm has filed a lawsuit against Duke Energy over coal-ash byproducts, saying the utility is reneging on a supply agreement. (Triangle Business Journal)
• Two neighboring Native American tribes in Montana are taking opposite approaches on whether to open their lands to coal mining. (Reuters)

PIPELINES:
• Residents brace for battle over a $3 billion natural gas pipeline project in rural Pennsylvania. (The Intercept)
• Energy Transfer’s Rover pipeline has racked up more environmental violations than other major interstate natural gas pipelines built in the last two years. (Bloomberg)

BIOFUEL: America’s largest oil refiner, Valero Energy Corp., played a key role in a behind-the-scenes lobbying campaign against U.S. biofuels regulations. (Reuters)

GRID: Regional grid operators across the country report that they had no issues managing the decline in output during yesterday’s solar eclipse. (RTO Insider)

SOLAR:
• How citizens came together to beat powerful utilities and reinstate net-metering in Nevada. (High Country News)
• More states are enabling private companies, nonprofits and homeowners associations to develop their own community solar projects. (Stateline)
• Some California residents were asked to curb their energy use during the solar eclipse, giving them a preview of what’s to come when the state implements a time-of-use (TOU) plan in 2019, which incentivizes customers to use energy at off-peak times. (Greentech Media)
• An analysis explains why the U.S. solar industry doesn’t want government protection following Georgia-based Suniva’s call for tariffs against foreign manufacturers. (Wired)
• A team at Northwestern University in Illinois is completing a fully solar-powered home to compete in a national competition. (Midwest Energy News)
• The “threat of a very large price hike” is looming for U.S. solar installers if a requested tariff on imported panels is approved. (NPR)

STORAGE: 
• A North Carolina startup is filing for bankruptcy protection and shutting down a factory that made small batteries for power companies. (Associated Press)
• A growing number of automakers are entering the energy storage market. (GreenBiz)

WIND: Rural electric cooperatives are increasingly turning to wind energy due to federal tax credits and state renewable energy mandates. (Utility Dive)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A federal magistrate orders two Michigan lawmakers to turn over lobbyist emails as Tesla challenges a state law requiring vehicles to be sold through authorized dealers. (Detroit News)

NUCLEAR:
• Santee Cooper has heard from two companies interested in buying a share in its abandoned Summer nuclear project in South Carolina, though neither seems likely to join the project. (Post and Courier)
• Westinghouse Electric will lay off 116 workers in Rock Hill, South Carolina, following the decision to shut down construction on two nuclear reactors in the state. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• While touring a new natural gas plant near Toledo, Ohio Gov. John Kasich says he opposes rate increases to help support two struggling nuclear plants in the state. (Associated Press)

CAP-AND-TRADE: California’s Senate leader wants to spend roughly $1 billion in cap-and-trade revenue to replace old, dirty engines in the state. (Los Angeles Times)

COMMENTARY:
• Michigan is primed for its electric vehicle sector to take off, but advocates say several policy barriers must first be removed. (Midwest Energy News)
• The directors of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) should choose more aggressive caps on emissions, says an economics professor at at Colby College. (Portland Press Herald)
• The chairman of Santee Cooper’s board of directors outlines why the company started and stopped the Summer nuclear project in South Carolina. (The State)

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