U.S. Energy News

Group of 2,000 academics asks world’s universities to divest from fossil fuels

DIVESTMENT: A global group of about 2,000 researchers called Academics Stand Against Poverty (ASAP) is urging universities to divest from fossil fuel holdings. (Guardian)

OIL AND GAS:
• For the third year running, the U.S. produced more crude oil and natural gas than any other country in the world in 2014, at time when the U.S. is trying to take a leadership role in slashing greenhouse gas emissions. (Climate Central)
A New York state judge has dismissed an environmental group’s lawsuit challenging the restart of a Hudson Valley power plant using natural gas instead of coal, saying the group had no legal standing to bring the suit to court. (Associated Press)

COAL: Barclays, the world’s biggest financier of mountain top removal in 2013, has ended its financing of the practice. (Guardian)

FEDERAL OVERSIGHT: Employees at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have deep ties to the industry they regulate, according to agency documents detailing their job negotiations and stock holdings. (Greenwire)

EMISSIONS: An Oregon judge heard arguments Tuesday in a potentially precedent-setting case brought by two Eugene teenagers seeking a ruling that would force state lawmakers to work harder to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (The Register-Guard)

FRACKING: The Maryland Senate passed a fracking ban until October 2017 by a 45-2 vote Monday night and sent it to the House, which has already passed a three-year fracking moratorium. (The Baltimore Sun)

SOLAR: Starting in June, defense companies including Thales SA and Multicon Solar AG will join NATO to test the military’s ability to use renewable power in combat and humanitarian operations. (Bloomberg)

TAR SANDS: With proposed pipelines to the south, east and west facing stiff opposition, the tar sands industry is now investigating shipping their product via the Arctic. (Yale Environment 360)

WIND:
• After a $113 million investment and Cape Wind faltering, the future of New Bedford, Massachusetts, as an offshore wind hub grows uncertain. (WBUR)
• The federal government is considering measures that could protect the wind industry from prosecution in the event their activities result in the death of a threatened species, such as the newly-listed Northern long-eared bat. (Midwest Energy News)

METHANE: To fund its $18 million investigation into methane emissions from the natural gas industry, the Environmental Defense Fund assembled a diverse network of private donors, foundations, utilities, fossil fuel companies and others. (InsideClimate News)

ELECTRIC CARS:
• A Republican California state senator wants to eliminate the $2,500 rebate on electric cars that cost more than $40,000, which his would eliminate the rebate for Tesla buyers while preserving it for automakers like Toyota and Nissan. (San Francisco Business News)
• A MIT new study suggests battery-powered vehicles are close to being cost-effective for most people. (MIT Technology Review)

POLITICS: The Center for American Progress, the think tank founded by President Obama’s former green czar John Podesta, is a boot camp for the administration’s energy up-and-comers and a prime landing spot for its former heavyweights. (Greenwire)

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