U.S. Energy News

House lawmakers introduce bill to repeal solar import tariff

SOLAR: House lawmakers introduce a bill to repeal a 30 percent tariff on imported solar products and reimburse companies that have been affected. (Greentech Media)

ALSO:
Target was the top corporate solar energy user in the U.S. last year, with more than 200 MW of capacity, according to a new report. (Denver Business Journal)
• Florida regulators rule that Sunrun can offer residential solar equipment leases in the state, saying a solar lease is not a sale of electricity. (Southeast Energy News)
• A planned 200 megawatt solar project in North Dakota would be the state’s first major utility scale project. (Forum News Service)

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RENEWABLES: If Hawaii were to double its 40 percent by  2030 clean energy goal, the state would see $2.9 billion of new investment and a net increase of 1,522 jobs, according to a new report. (GreenBiz)

EFFICIENCY:
A bill to allow residential Property Assessed Clean Energy financing in Minnesota has bipartisan support, though critics oppose the way it prioritizes loans. (Midwest Energy News)
In an anticipated announcement, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sets a new state target for energy efficiency at 3 percent annually by 2025. (Utility Dive)

GRID: DOE Assistant Secretary Bruce Walker says the department will consider national security in its evaluation of a coal and nuclear plant bailout requested by FirstEnergy. (Utility Dive)

OIL & GAS:
• Conservation groups seek to overturn a federal court’s decision to suspend an Obama-era rule to curb venting and flaring from oil and gas operations on public lands. (Denver Post)
• Thousands of workers BP hired to helped clean up the Deepwater Horizon oil spill say the exposure made them sick, but most are still waiting for their day in court. (WWL-TV)
• In a tweet, President Trump accused OPEC of artificially raising prices on oil, saying there are ”record amounts of oil all over the place.” (The Hill)

OFFSHORE DRILLING: New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill on Friday banning drilling off the state’s coast. (NJ.com)

PIPELINES:
• Mountain Valley Pipeline developers ask a federal judge to find West Virginia protesters in contempt of court and remove them from tree stands where they’re protesting. (Associated Press)
• Tensions are high in Virginia over a 61-year-old woman who has been in a tree on her family’s property for three weeks protesting the Mountain Valley Pipeline. (Washington Post)
• FERC issues a request for comments on the agency’s evaluation process for interstate natural gas pipelines. (Utility Dive)
• Europe’s HSBC bank pledges to stop financing most fossil fuel projects, which would prevent it from funding TransCanada’s proposed $8 billion Keystone XL oil pipeline to Nebraska. (Reuters)

COAL: An investigative arm of Congress recommends that lawmakers eliminate “self-bonding” for the coal industry, saying it puts taxpayers at risk of paying for expensive coal mine cleanups. (The Spokesman-Review)

NUCLEAR: South Carolina’s attorney general says a law allowing SCG&E to increase customers’ bills for two failed nuclear reactors is unconstitutional. (Associated Press)

UTILITIES:
• Hawaiian Electric has reduced its annual oil usage by more than 2 million barrels over the past seven years, according to a new report. (Pacific Business News)
• The bankruptcy of FirstEnergy’s coal and nuclear subsidiaries could shed new light on the relationships among the parent corporation, its regulated utilities and the generation affiliates. (Midwest Energy News)
• A timeline of events spanning two decades that have led FirstEnergy to seek support for its struggling coal and nuclear plants. (Midwest Energy News)

POLICY:
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt says federal fuel economy standards are killing Americans by encouraging automakers to build flimsy lightweight cars. (Grist)
The EPA plans to announce a new policy that would give oil and gas companies the ability to self-audit and fix pollution violations instead of waiting for EPA investigations. (The Hill)

EPA:
An investigation into Scott Pruitt’s political career in Oklahoma reveals that many of the pitfalls he has encountered as EPA administrator are nothing new. (New York Times)
Lobbyist J. Steven Hart, whose wife rented a condo to Pruitt, sought help for a client from the EPA this year, despite Hart and Pruitt making claims to the contrary. (The Hill)
Hart stepped down from his position as chairman of a lobbying firm, amid ongoing controversy surrounding the Pruitt rental. (The Hill)

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CLIMATE: Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he will donate $4.5 million to the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat to fulfill the United States’ financial commitment to the Paris climate accord. (Huffington Post)

COMMENTARY:
New Jersey has been “vaulted into the ranks of top U.S. climate leaders, alongside California and New York.” (Vox)
How the courts decide to handle new climate change lawsuits will “play a critical role in whether we, as a society, are able to hold fossil fuel companies accountable,” says the editor in chief of SIERRA. (Los Angeles Times)

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