U.S. Energy News

FERC gets another month to decide on coal and nuclear subsidies

POLICY:
• Energy Secretary Rick Perry grants a request by FERC’s new chairman to give the agency 30 more days to decide on a DOE proposal to subsidize coal and nuclear plants. (Utility Dive, Greenech Media)
• The proposal to prop up coal and nuclear plants has united renewable energy advocates, natural gas producers, conservative think tanks and environmental groups — all of which oppose the rule. (The Hill)

CAP-AND-TRADE: A climate-action group founded by billionaire Tom Steyer is spending $75,000 on a digital ad campaign in support of cap-and-trade legislation in Oregon. (Portland Business Journal)

POLITICS: Documents obtained by the Washington Post show a uranium mining company lobbied the Trump administration to reduce the size of Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, which is slated to be shrunk by 85 percent. (Washington Post)

SOLAR:
• Groups will challenge a state law that gradually reduces net-metering rates for new solar customers in Maine’s Supreme Judicial Court this week. (Associated Press)
• As Missouri officials begin to assess distributed generation policies, solar advocates say it is unclear whether the state will head in a direction that benefits customers or utilities. (Midwest Energy News)

RENEWABLES: When taking the full life-cycle into account, the carbon footprint of solar, wind and nuclear power is insignificant compared to fossil fuels, according to a new study. (Carbon Brief)

TECHNOLOGY: A teenager from Connecticut is working on a way to improve carbon capture technology. (Quartz)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A Missouri appeals court judge rules in favor of Tesla as the company looks to sell its vehicles directly to customers there, bypassing dealerships. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

COAL:
• Western coal states sign a memorandum of understanding with the Canadian province of Saskatchewan to collaborate on coal research and share information that could help the struggling industry adapt. (Associated Press)
• A fact-check gives President Trump’s claim that West Virginia is sending “clean coal” to China a rating of “three Pinocchios.” (Washington Post)
• A March meeting between coal magnate Robert Murray and Energy Secretary Rick Perry was part of an aggressive lobbying campaign to make sure that President Trump helped the coal industry. (Washington Post)
• After We Energies recently announced the closing of a Wisconsin coal plant, some fear the company will increase production at a pair of coal-fired plants about 15 miles away. (Midwest Energy News)

PIPELINES: Environmental groups file a federal lawsuit to try to block the Mountain Valley Pipeline after the project cleared its final regulatory hurdle in Virginia last week. (Washington Post)

POLLUTION: An analysis by the New York Times shows that Trump’s EPA is taking a more lenient approach towards polluters than the previous two administrations. (New York Times)

NUCLEAR:
•The Charleston Post and Courier publishes a confidential 2011 report warning that contractor Westinghouse wasn’t prepared to build new nuclear reactors in Georgia and South Carolina. (Post and Courier)
• New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will consider legislation to subsidize the state’s nuclear power plants, saying the energy source is “important for our energy security.” (Reuters)

GRID: PJM Connex and Peak Reliability say they signed “a formal agreement to explore reliability services and markets in the West.” (Utility Dive)

UTILITIES: An analysis shows how utilities have changed the rules in order to make big bets with ratepayers’ money. (Post and Courier)

COMMENTARY:
• How FERC handles a controversial proposal to subsidize coal and nuclear plants will “serve as a kind of barometer that tests just how far partisan hackery has penetrated the federal bureaucracy,” writes David Roberts. (Vox)
• With huge sums of capital in the balance, pipeline developers and investors deserve  more regulatory certainty when it comes to permitting, says a former U.S. representative from Maryland. (The Hill)

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