U.S. Energy News

Group sues over ongoing pollution at largest U.S. hydro facility

HYDRO: An advocacy group is suing the federal government over ongoing oil spills at Grand Coulee Dam, the largest hydro facility in the U.S. (Associated Press)

OIL BY RAIL: New York Sen. Charles Schumer says oil companies should be required to remove flammable gases from crude oil before it’s transported by train. (Associated Press)

CLIMATE:
• The U.S. Virgin Islands will withdraw its sweeping subpoena against Exxon Mobil as part of a broader investigation into whether the company misled the public on climate change. (Reuters)
• A U.S. Senate panel reverses course and approves $500 million in funding for an international climate fund. (The Hill)

RENEWABLES:
• Washington D.C. expands its renewable energy target to 50 percent by 2032. (EcoWatch)
• A new report says California has grown its GDP while being less carbon intensive. (Sacramento Business Journal)

SOLAR:
• The U.S. solar industry “is now entering what may be its most prosperous decade ever.” (The Guardian)
• Colorado regulators sign off on a plan for Xcel Energy to develop nearly 30 megawatts of community solar. (Denver Post)
• Advocates say uncertainty over a solar project in Michigan exposes an outdated and patchwork approach to state tax policy for renewables. (Midwest Energy News)

COAL:
• Coal ash is the source of “enduring misery” in one Oklahoma town and a “microcosm” of a nearly four-decades fight in Washington. (Center for Public Integrity)
• In the decade leading up to their bankruptcies, five coal companies spent $95 million on lobbying U.S. lawmakers and another $600 million on top executives’ salaries. (Bloomberg)

FRACKING: A federal judge’s recent decision against the Obama administration’s rules for fracking on public lands could have implications far beyond fracking, experts say. (Inside Climate News)

BIOFUELS:
• California regulators look to spur research into converting waste timber into energy to avoid dead trees becoming fuel for massive wildfires. (Sacramento Business Journal)
• Austin, Texas officials are investigating whether the city can get out from under a biofuel deal costing utility customers $54 million a year. (Watchdog.org)

GRID: The costs for California’s grid operator to regulate the variable output from renewable energy have quadrupled. (RTO Insider)

OFFSHORE DRILLING: Senators from coastal areas aim for a vote this year on a new bill to increase states’ shares of drilling revenues. (The Hill)

OIL AND GAS:
• A California utility increased pressure in a natural gas pipeline that eventually exploded in a neighborhood despite flawed and incomplete records on the line. (San Jose Mercury News)
• The governor of Alaska cuts in half annual payments from oil revenue to residents amid a multi-billion-dollar budget deficit. (Associated Press)
• The Sierra Club may shift its opposition to proposed natural-gas export terminals from federal regulators to the Department of Energy. (Greenwire)
• Local officials in Colorado approve a massive oil and gas drilling operation near a middle school. (Denver Post)

CORPORATE SUSTAINABILITY: Major corporations in Minnesota form a coalition to promote the sustainability of a “circular economy” that eliminates waste and relies on renewable energy. (Midwest Energy News)

COMMENTARY:
• A recent court decision striking down a Minnesota clean energy law would not have adverse impacts on a similar policy in California, attorneys say. (Natural Resources Defense Council)
• With the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant closing, California’s grid will be largely free of baseload power plants. (Greentech Media)
• Five reasons why oil trains should be banned immediately. (Huffington Post)

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