U.S. Energy News

House Republicans question basic climate science during hearing

CLIMATE:
• Skeptical Republican lawmakers question a top climate scientist on global warming and sea-level rise during a House committee hearing. (E&E News, New York Magazine)
• Trump’s new NASA administrator says climate change is happening and humans are contributing “in a major way.” (The Atlantic)

FINANCE: The Trump administration’s tax laws have had a minimal impact on clean energy investments, dispelling earlier predictions that changes would hurt availability of tax equity. (Greentech Media)

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TECHNOLOGY: Bitcoin “mining” is consuming record amounts of electricity and by late next year could equal all the world’s solar panel output. (Grist)

SOLAR: A planned solar farm on abandoned mine land in Kentucky is in limbo because a West Virginia coal company is years behind on reclaiming the land. (InsideClimate News)

WIND: Political will and falling prices are positioning the East Coast to becoming a hub for offshore wind energy projects. (Forbes)

EFFICIENCY: President Trump signs an executive order to curb federal spending on energy and water at more than 350,000 buildings nationwide. (The Hill)

CARBON CAPTURE: A carbon capture test facility opens at a coal plant in Wyoming. (E&E News)

COAL:
• Dynegy-Vistra could close its eight coal-fired power plants in downstate Illinois by 2025 without causing reliability problems, according to a study commissioned by environmental groups. (Midwest Energy News)
• A utility owner of Montana’s Colstrip power plant will pay $4.5 million to help the community transition beyond coal when the plant closes, boosting an initial $3 million offer made in March. (Billings Gazette)

OIL & GAS: An Interior Department official predicted the agency would learn nothing from a public comment period on plans to open Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument to oil and gas exploration. (Huffington Post)

PIPELINES:
• A federal court rejects FERC’s motion to suspend a petition for review of an order authorizing the Mountain Valley Pipeline, allowing a case by environmental groups to move forward. (Natural Gas Intel)
• A Virginia nonprofit sues the Forest Service over officials denying a Mountain Valley Pipeline protester medical access. (ThinkProgress)

GRID: Southern California and Texas may face power shortages this summer due to low natural gas supplies and coal plant retirements, respectively, according to a FERC report. (Reuters)

REGULATION: FERC Chairman Kevin McIntyre says the commission will “reenergize” its review of PURPA, which requires utilities to buy clean energy from independent producers. (Utility Dive)

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EPA: Sources say EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt hired a defense attorney to advise him on 12 federal investigations into his ethics scandals. (The Hill)

COMMENTARY:
• Author Dick Munson explores Nikola Tesla’s vision for clean energy in his new book, Tesla: Inventor of the Modern. (Midwest Energy News)
• Reports on the vast amount of energy consumed by Bitcoin mining are largely overblown and fail to consider efforts to make virtual currencies more efficient, says the founding editor of ClimateProgress. (ThinkProgress)
• A correspondent for the Washington Post explains why a Republican lawmaker’s assertion that erosion is causing sea-level rise is scientifically impossible.

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