U.S. Energy News

Greenhouse gases hit record highs, bringing record heat

CLIMATE: Greenhouse gases hit record highs in 2014, while the planet’s surface temperature reached its hottest point in 135 years of record keeping, researchers said Thursday. (Bloomberg)

COAL:
The New York Stock Exchange suspended trading in shares of one of the largest coal mining companies in the Powder River Basin Thursday, amid reports the company is considering filing for bankruptcy. (Casper Star Tribune)
The Obama administration unveiled new standards Thursday meant to protect streams in Appalachia from mountaintop removal coal mining. (Greenwire)
The National Mining Association called proposed federal stream protections “costly and unnecessary regulations from an administration that appears determined to destroy coal mining communities.” (Environmental News Service)

DRILLING RULES: New rules for oil and gas drilling on federal lands won’t take effect until September at the earliest, under a court decision Thursday. (FuelFix)

DRILLING BAN: Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) introduced legislation Thursday to ban arctic oil drilling, as the Interior Department weighs whether to issue final drilling permits to Shell. (FuelFix)

SOLAR: Wait times for the activation of residential solar systems in the U.S. rose 68 percent from 2013 to 2014, according to a new report by EQ Research. (Renewable Energy World)

CRUDE OIL: U.S. crude’s recent fall to $51 a barrel is making recovery of domestic drilling more tenuous, bringing lower profits and probably more job cuts, analysts say. (FuelFix)

FRACKING:
• The EPA’s internal watchdog recommended Thursday that the agency improve oversight of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing. (The Hill)
• Activists in California have launched a petition calling for a moratorium on fracking after a study showed how little is known about its potential risks. (InsideClimate Change)
Pennsylvania officials are breaking with fellow state regulators to use data reported by oil and gas companies to monitor chemicals used in fracking. (EnergyWire)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
Electric vehicles could provide a backup power source for the aging electric grid through “vehicle to grid” technology, or V2G. (ClimateWire)
Many in the electric vehicle industry see a lack of access to charging stations as one of the biggest barriers to mainstream growth. (ClimateWire)

ENERGY POLICY: Witnesses slated for the final meeting of Ohio’s Energy Mandates Study Committee want the state to scrap its clean energy standard, amid a broader debate of clean energy’s role in economic growth. (Midwest Energy News)

PRESIDENTIAL RACE: When Hillary Clinton spoke to Democratic senators on Capitol Hill this week, she emphasized the need for climate action but also had some positive words about coal. (E&E Daily)

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