U.S. Energy News

House passes bill banning new offshore drilling

OIL & GAS: The U.S. House passes bills banning new offshore oil and gas leasing off the Atlantic, Pacific, and Florida Gulf coasts. (CNBC)

ALSO:
The House is expected to vote today on a measure to ban drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve; Alaska’s delegation opposes the bill. (Reuters, Anchorage Daily News)
• T. Boone Pickens, an Oklahoma oil tycoon who became an advocate for alternative energy sources, dies at age 91. (New York Times)
• Shale producers keep finding ways to cut costs with cheap fracking systems, but the installations cost service companies more to build. (Reuters)

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BIOFUELS:
• U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley expresses frustration that the ethanol debate is an “Iowa discussion” when several other corn-growing states have a stake in the issue. (Quad-City Times)
• White House officials pressure biofuel companies to take a deal by the end of the week that increases biofuel blending mandates. (Reuters)

TRANSPORTATION:
Pennsylvania has been among the most active participants in the federal Alternative Fuel Corridors program that promotes electric vehicle, hydrogen, propane and natural gas fueling. (Energy News Network)
• Of 26 states that impose or are considering fees on electric vehicles to cover road funding costs, 11 charge more for EVs than owners of traditional gasoline cars, according to Consumer Reports. (CNBC)
• Key U.S. senators are considering new federal fees on electric vehicles to help pay for a $287 billion surface transportation bill. (E&E News, subscription)
• U.S. airlines are getting more fuel-efficient, but Americans are traveling more than ever and erasing potential gains, a new study finds. (Axios) 

SOLAR:
• Louisiana regulators approve a rule that allows utilities to pay a lower rate to solar customers under net metering; solar advocates say the change will chill the industry and lead to layoffs. (The Advocate)
A Maine-based solar company is sending four of its units designed for disaster relief to the Bahamas. (WGME)
• Michigan regulators approve a settlement between a utility and solar developers that’s poised to triple the state’s solar capacity in four years. (Greentech Media)
• The head of an Ohio solar company sees some benefit to the state’s nuclear and coal subsidies: higher electric bills will make the cost of installing solar more economical by comparison. (WOSU)

NUCLEAR: The U.S. Department of Energy partners with three utilities to find an economical way to use nuclear energy to produce hydrogen that can be stored for various uses. (Associated Press)

CARBON:  
Thirteen Democrats and four Republicans push to attach a carbon capture bill to must-pass defense legislation. (Utility Dive)
An investigative report explores Wyoming’s bid to transform the Powder River Basin into a “Carbon Valley” focused on high-tech products. (Financial Times, subscription)
• The climate denier who compared the “demonization of carbon dioxide” to “the poor Jews under Hitler” resigns from the President Trump’s National Security Council. (Earther)

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GRID:
• The Southwest Power Pool and Western Energy Imbalance Market add new participants in a sign of rising focus on integrating renewable energy. (Utility Dive)
A state land use panel in Maine deadlocks on a vote to allow a power line importing Canadian hydropower through the state. (Portland Press Herald)

COMMENTARY:
• A senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute writes that electric vehicles won’t be enough to decarbonize the transportation sector. (The Hill)
• U.S. Sen. Tina Smith of Minnesota says federal climate policy should be both “push” and “pull,” the latter of which is being done in progressive states to make more rapid progress. (Inforum)

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