U.S. Energy News

Feds issue new rules to cut methane emissions

REGULATION:
• The Interior Department finalizes a rule limiting methane emissions from the oil and gas industry, which will require cutbacks in gas flaring. (Washington Post)
• Four liberal-leaning judges appointed to the D.C. Circuit court by President Obama could serve as a firewall against environmental regulation changes. (Greenwire)

POLICY:
• The Ohio legislature will resume hearings on a bill to further weaken and delay the state’s clean energy standards. (Midwest Energy News)
• Illinois lawmakers introduce a long-anticipated energy bill that would provide controversial supports for nuclear and coal plants as well as fix the state’s renewable portfolio standard and add other clean energy investments. (Midwest Energy News)

POLITICS: Sources say President-elect Donald Trump’s short-list of contenders to head the EPA includes two energy industry lobbyists who worked at the agency during George W. Bush’s presidency. (Reuters)

SOLAR:
• Over 50 percent of residential solar capacity installed in the U.S. in 2017 will be purchased with cash or a loan, rather than leasing solar panels, according to a new report. (Greentech Media)
• State regulators order Duke Energy to respond to complaints that the utility is unlawfully delaying grid connections for solar farms and other clean energy projects in North Carolina. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• Solar installations could be cut in half without the federal investment tax credit. (Greentech Media)
• Duke Energy wants to lower the price it pays for solar power in North Carolina and reduce the size of projects that it’s required to buy power from at standard rates, replacing the old system with annual bids for solar construction. (Charlotte Business Journal)

RENEWABLE ENERGY:
• Wind and solar industry leaders remain optimistic that their businesses will thrive, even if the Trump administration scraps the federal investment tax credit. (Utility Dive)
• The Missouri Supreme Court will consider whether to restore the state’s renewable energy standard after it was undermined by a legislative committee six years ago. (Midwest Energy News)

CLIMATE:
• A list of environmental priorities championed by the Trump administration that would hurt climate goals and stifle clean energy. (Vox)
• President Obama makes his case for why Donald Trump should reconsider pulling out of the Paris climate agreement. (Vox)

COAL: Analysts expect the election outcome to have only a “marginal” effect on coal markets in 2017. (Platts)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: An upstart electric car company suspends operations at its factory in Nevada. (Associated Press)

BIOFUEL: A Houston-based company plans to restart a dormant ethanol plant in New Mexico. (Albuquerque Business First)

ADVOCACY:
• Billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer vows to spend “whatever is necessary” to fight Donald Trump’s pro-fossil fuel agenda. (Reuters)
• Nationwide protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline draw tens of thousands of people in all 50 states. (Huffington Post)

PIPELINES: The company building the Dakota Access Pipeline asks a federal judge for permission to continue construction in North Dakota, despite an order from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to temporarily halt operations. (Associated Press)

OIL & GAS: Activists are hoping an obscure 1953 law could be used permanently restrict oil development off the U.S. Atlantic and Arctic coasts. (Bloomberg)

COAL:
• A coal expert explains how Donald Trump can slow the industry’s decline. (Greentech Media)
BNSF Railway agrees to pay $1 million of a possible $4.6 trillion over a lawsuit alleging the company is endangering waterways in Oregon by not covering its coal cars. (Portland Business Journal)

POLLUTION: Five states along the Gulf will receive a total of nearly $370 million to help restore coastal waters and habitats that were damaged from the 2010 BP oil spill. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY:
• Wind and solar are not the cheapest energy options, and the industries still depend on two federal tax credits for much of their stability. (FiveThirtyEight)
• Donald Trump won’t be able to revive the U.S. coal industry. (New York Times)
• A documentary project tells the stories of renewable energy projects in small towns. (Vox)

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