U.S. Energy News

In Clean Power Plan fight, a conflict-of-interest question

CLEAN POWER PLAN: As Oklahoma’s attorney general blasts the EPA at a House hearing, a California congressman questions his ties to the oil and gas industry. (Oklahoman)

POLICY: Saying it “increases taxes,” Maryland’s governor vetos a bill to increase the state’s renewable energy standard; lawmakers have enough votes to override the veto next year. (Bay Journal)

WIND:
A Virginia utility loses a $40 million federal grant for an offshore wind project as environmentalists charge it dragged its feet thereby inviting officials to pull the funding. (The Virginian-Pilot, Richmond Times-Dispatch)
• A University of Maine offshore wind project gets a $40 million boost from the Department of Energy. (Bangor Daily News)

COAL: Duke University researchers find ash from coal burned in Appalachia is rich in coveted rare earth minerals. (Science Daily)

PIPELINES:
• Federal and state authorities withdraw a construction permit for the Dakota Access oil pipeline in Iowa to investigate reports it crosses sacred tribal burial grounds. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)
• New Jersey advocates say the federal government should suspend review of a proposed natural gas pipeline until developers provide adequate data on environmental impacts. (NJ Spotlight)

OIL AND GAS: A Washington state report says a rail or barge spill into the Columbia River could cost $170 million and take decades to fully repair. (Associated Press)

SOLAR:
• An Iowa college considers a third-party solar-plus-storage project on campus as a way to increase its solar generation by working around its utility. (Midwest Energy News)
• Amid a solar boom in Montana, changes to net metering are under consideration in the state legislature. (Billings Gazette)

NUCLEAR: An industry official says there needs to be a greater sense of urgency to keep nuclear plants from closing prematurely. (Toledo Blade)

UTILITIES:
• New York’s grid overhaul will help create new business models for utilities. (EnergyWire)
• The parent company of Kansas City Power & Light will buy rival Westar Energy for $8.6 billion. (Reuters)

TRANSMISSION: Delaware officials dispute a federal decision requiring the state’s ratepayers to cover the costs of a transmission line that mostly benefits neighboring New Jersey. (Delaware Onlin)

RENEWABLES:
• A Nevada renewable energy task force has already “punted” on several key issues. (Las Vegas Sun)
• U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz says the federal government plays a critical role in helping develop clean energy. (NPR)

CLIMATE: Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse says he’ll continue pushing for action on climate change: “Our grandchildren will look back at us as a particularly loathsome and shallow generation.” (PRI)

COMMENTARY:
• A decision by Texas officials to order the removal of photos of oil spill damage from a state website reveals a “cozy relationship” with the industry. (El Paso Times)
• Why there’s a gender divide on nuclear power. (Vox)

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