U.S. Energy News

Final GOP tax bill preserves renewable and EV credits

POLICY: The final GOP tax bill will preserve credits for renewable energy and electric vehicles, but the full extent of other changes remains uncertain. (New York Times, Greentech Media)

WIND:
• A Canada-based company cancels plans for a 21-megawatt wind farm in central Montana, saying a price set by state regulators makes the project unrealistic. (Associated Press)
• The nation’s first offshore wind farm, located 3 miles off Block Island, Rhode Island, has positively impacted tourism in the area. (Associated Press)

SOLAR:
• A slowdown in U.S. residential solar installations can be largely traced to SolarCity, which eased its aggressive marketing and expansion plans after being acquired by Tesla. (Reuters)
• White House documents obtained by Politico argue that cheap solar imports allow China to unfairly profit from Americans’ use of renewable power, which some fear could be an indication President Trump will impose tariffs on imported solar panels. (Politico)

RENEWABLES: What it would take for California to reach 100 percent renewable electricity by 2040. (Greentech Media)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: The Indianapolis International Airport will have the nation’s largest fleet of electric airport shuttles once more arrive next year. (Midwest Energy News)

GRID: The North American Electric Reliability Corp. says new gas plants and renewables can replace coal and nuclear plants that are being retired, but regulators and grid managers aren’t acting fast enough on new operating rules. (E&E News)

OIL & GAS:
• The final GOP tax bill is poised to open Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling. (Reuters)
• Photos of an exploratory well drilled in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the 1980s show the difficulty of restoring the tundra to its natural state. (New York Times)

PIPELINES:
• Opponents of Louisiana’s Bayou Bridge Pipeline are vowing resistance, with one environmental group planning to place members in the way of the proposed route. (Common Dreams, WWL)
• North Dakota law enforcement purchased more than $600,000 worth of body armor, tactical equipment and crowd-control devices during the Dakota Access pipeline protests. (Associated Press)

COAL:
• The U.S. Bureau of Land Management approves the expansion of two Colorado coal mines, sparking legal action from environmental groups. (Denver Business Journal)
• A company working to develop cleaner-burning coal is scheduled to launch a test plant in northeast Wyoming by next summer. (Associated Press)
• President Trump’s pick to head the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement has been a vocal critic of the agency, and was once dropped by the agency after his engineering firm produced a report deemed “nonsensical” and “junk.” (ProPublica)
• 
President Trump is reconsidering rules intended to protect coal miners from getting black lung disease, which can lead to cancer. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR:
• A bill in New Jersey to subsidize nuclear plants could cost ratepayers about $320 million a year. (Reuters)
• Georgia’s Public Service Commission is expected to decide Thursday whether to cancel the Vogtle nuclear project amid the growing calls to do so. (Washington Examiner, Savannah Morning News)
• Federal agents are looking into whether South Carolina utility officials concealed information from investors about the now-failed Summer nuclear project and whether their actions constitute fraud or securities violations. (The State)

CLIMATE: The Trump administration tells officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to eliminate certain words and phrases, including “climate change,” from budget documents. (Washington Post)

COMMENTARY:
• David Roberts of Vox explains why microgrid technology is the path to a cleaner and more reliable energy grid.
• A controversial Department of Energy proposal may prolong the life of some nuclear plants, but the boost to coal would overshadow any carbon benefits, says an energy and climate analyst at the Breakthrough Institute. (Greentech Media)

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