U.S. Energy News

Forty coal units across the U.S. are slated to close under Trump

COAL: Utilities plan to close 40 coal units over the next four years, despite President Trump rolling back Obama-era environmental regulations. (Climatewire)

ALSO:
• Power producer Talen Energy is asking state lawmakers for a $10 million tax break to enable it to keep open two units open at Montana’s Colstrip power plant, the second-largest coal-fired power plant in the West. (Associated Press)
• Coal companies owned by West Virginia governor Jim Justice still owe $4.4 million in unpaid taxes to the state. (Associated Press)

PIPELINES: An overlooked, 35-page memo from the Interior Department’s top lawyer says the existing environmental assessment for the Dakota Access Pipeline suffers from fatal flaws, offering a glimmer of hope to pipeline opponents. (Energywire)

FRACKING: More than 6,600 fracking-related spills occurred between 2005 and 2014 in four states, with more than half occurring in North Dakota, according to a recent study. (BBC)

SOLAR:
• Farmers in Connecticut are facing a choice between installing solar on their land or preserving it for agriculture and open space. (CT Mirror)
Maryland’s solar business is booming thanks to friendly policies and growing demand, with the state adding more than 1,100 solar jobs last year. (Baltimore Sun)
• A deeper look at a study that says solar-plus-storage does not make grid defection economically viable for residential customers. (Utility Dive)

RENEWABLE ENERGY: A new bill introduced by a state senator would require California to obtain 100 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2045 and accelerate existing renewable energy goals. (ThinkProgress)

STORAGE: A California utility brings 2 megawatt-hours of energy storage online north of Sacramento, using 22 Tesla Powerpacks. (Utility Dive)

BIOFUEL: President Trump sends a letter to the attendees of an ethanol industry conference, saying his administration values “the importance of renewable fuels to America’s economy and to our energy independence.” (Reuters)

NUCLEAR:
• State energy regulators unanimously approve $141 million in spending to expand a nuclear plant south of Augusta, Georgia. (Atlanta Business Chronicle)
• How a young, female professor has become the unlikely face of nuclear innovation. (OZY)
• Pacific Northwest ratepayers could save at least $261 million over 10 years if the region’s only commercial nuclear power plant is closed and replaced with renewable energy, according to a study commissioned by an anti-nuclear group. (Associated Press)

CAP-AND-TRADE: Lawmakers in Oregon begin the first of several joint hearings over whether to regulate carbon emissions using a cap-and-trade system. (Statesman Journal)

CLIMATE: Researchers are pressing forward with a major climate change report that draws upon state-specific information to make planning easier at the state and local levels. (Midwest Energy News)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: White House officials have been reviewing an executive order that would begin the process of repealing the Clean Power Plan and canceling the Climate Action Plan, which cuts the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. (Climatewire)

POLITICS: New EPA administrator Scott Pruitt addresses the agency for the first time, saying “we don’t have to choose” between jobs and the environment. (Washington Post)

UTILITIES: Better management of energy demand could save ratepayers money and help Michigan effectively replace lost generation from retired power plants, according to a pair of recent studies. (Midwest Energy News)

COMMENTARY: Changes to Indiana’s net-metering policy are foolish and based on a lack of evidence, say professors from Indiana University. (Daily Journal)

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