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• Advocates say uncertainty over a solar project in Michigan exposes an outdated and patchwork approach to state tax policy for renewables.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)

Andy Balaskovitz

Andy has been a journalism fellow for Midwest Energy News since 2014, following four years at City Pulse, Lansing’s alt-weekly newspaper. He covers the state of Michigan and also compiles the Midwest Energy News daily email digest. Andy is a graduate of Michigan State University’s Journalism School, where he focused on topics covered by the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism and wrote for the Great Lakes Echo. He was the 2008 and 2009 recipient of the Edward Meeman Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Environmental Journalism at Michigan State.

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