U.S. Energy News

Group seeks to expose economic case against coal

COAL: The Rocky Mountain Institute aims to make the case to customers and regulators that coal plants are raising electricity costs. (Utility Dive)

ALSO:
• An Indiana utility says building renewable energy projects is cheaper than keeping existing coal plants open. (Utility Dive)
• The CEO of the largest U.S. nuclear power company says the nation needs to stop making “false promises” to coal regions. (E&E News, subscription)

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NUCLEAR: A South Carolina judge is expected to overturn the controversial law that put electricity customers on the hook for a failed nuclear project. (Post and Courier)

GRID:
• Advocates say U.S. corporations need to play a bigger role in advocating for transmission projects if they are serious about powering their operations with renewable energy. (Energy News Network)
• Ohio’s grid modernization plan is unique in avoiding long-term mandates and subsidies, the state’s top utility regulator says. (Greentech Media)
• Clean energy advocates say they will be closely following Xcel Energy’s integrated distribution plan in Minnesota over the coming months. (Greentech Media)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Minnesota’s most populous county could reduce emissions and save money by downsizing and electrifying its light-duty vehicle fleet, according to a new report. (Energy News Network)
• A California-based electric car maker that once had ambitions to rival Tesla plans to cut 20 percent of its workforce as it searches for new investors. (Reuters)

BIOFUELS: Dunkin’ Donuts constructs a transportable, 275-square-foot tiny home that runs entirely on biofuel created using recycled coffee grounds. (The Weather Channel)

SOLAR:
• Solar power is spreading in New York City, despite “a wild forest of problems to navigate.” (Bloomberg)
• Compared to a formerly proposed wind project, a large-scale solar project planned in mid-Michigan sees few objections from residents. (MLive)

COAL ASH:
• A safety manager at the 2008 coal ash spill in Tennessee says he was ordered to confiscate and destroy every dust mask on site. (Knoxville News Sentinel)
• Environmental groups attempt to block the Trump administration’s first round of changes to 2015 coal ash storage rules. (The Hill)

OIL & GAS:
• A Colorado ballot measure to increase drilling setbacks exposes political fissures in a state with an economy that depends on oil but a lifestyle that hinges on public access to pristine lands. (New York Times)
• Oregon’s governor says she will issue an executive order “permanently banning” offshore oil and gas development. (OPB News)

PIPELINES:
• Federal regulators and pipeline industry representatives say they want to hear more from the public but in civil forums that avoid emotional, project-specific discussion. (E&E News)
• Another U.S. Army Corp of Engineers office suspends water-crossing permits for the Mountain Valley Pipeline. (Natural Gas Intelligence)

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POLITICS:
• Arizona’s attorney general threatens to sue a group behind a clean energy initiative for ads he says are “false and malicious.” (Arizona Republic)
• Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas tells oil industry leaders that climate change is a “pseudoscientific theory.” (E&E News, subscription)

COMMENTARY:
• The Northeast’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative must be strengthened to reach emission goals, says a researcher at a Boston organization that advocates for carbon pollution pricing. (CommonWealth Magazine)
• Automakers could avoid the regulatory uncertainty they now face over the Trump administration’s decision to roll back fuel efficiency standards by seeking compromises with California and other states suing over the move, says a former EPA official. (Forbes)

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