U.S. Energy News

Indiana Republican: Climate politics ‘polarized,’ ‘unproductive’

CLIMATE: “Someone had to start on our side of the aisle,” Republican Sen. Mike Braun says about his role in launching a bipartisan climate caucus. (Indianapolis Star)

ALSO:
Massachusetts sues ExxonMobil, alleging that it defrauded investors by misleading them on climate-related business risks. (InsideClimate News)
• In the Northeast, emissions are down and the economy is growing; how much credit does the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative deserve? (Energy News Network)
• An economist for a Republican climate group says a carbon tax could replace other emission policies such as mileage standards. (E&E News, subscription)

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CLEAN TECH: The director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory says there’s still a need to advance clean energy technology even though much of it is already cost-competitive with fossil fuels. (Energy News Network)

GRID:
A sweeping study of how a national transmission network could expand clean energy “has been bottled up” at the Department of Energy, according to speakers at a conference this week. (Energy News Network archive; E&E News, subscription)
Puerto Rico’s government-owned utility announces a $20 billion plan to modernize and strengthen its power grid destroyed by Hurricane Maria. (E&E News, subscription)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Sen. Chuck Schumer is preparing a $450 billion proposal to offer consumers trade-in vouchers to ditch their gasoline-powered vehicles. (New York Times)
• Tesla surprises investors with a rare quarterly profit, a result of progress in six key areas, including a record number of cars delivered. (Reuters)

OIL & GAS:
The U.S. has lost billions of dollars in oil and gas revenue to fossil fuel companies due to a loophole in a 1995 law allowing them to drill in the Gulf of Mexico royalty-free. (New York Times)
Disagreements continue in Colorado over new rules intended to put human and environmental health at the center of how oil and gas drilling is carried out. (Denver Post)
• At a recent oil and gas industry event, some worried that President Trump’s aggressive deregulation will fuel a public backlash that could pose a long-term threat to their business. (Time)
• Chinese restaurant owners in California fear they may be forced to give up gas stoves, which are seen as necessary to create the taste and texture of their cuisine. (Marketplace)

PIPELINES: South Dakota officials agree to not enforce portions of a recent pipeline protest bill, which could have immediate implications for opponents of the Keystone pipeline and similar bills in other states. (InsideClimate News)

OFFSHORE WIND:
• Emails show that fishing groups were in regular contact with federal regulators who eventually slammed the brakes on the Vineyard Wind project in Massachusetts. (E&E News, subscription)
• Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts say they will work to form “a whole new industry” of offshore wind in the Gulf of Maine. (NHPR)

SOLAR: After major layoffs three years ago, First Solar has ramped up solar manufacturing at its Ohio plants. (Toledo Blade)

COAL:
A Montana coal mine suddenly ceases operations because of a disagreement over whether its new owner should be immune as a tribal entity from future lawsuits for environmental violations or reclamation costs. (Casper Star-Tribune)
Blackjewel coal company, which declared bankruptcy in June, commits to paying West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky coal miners $5 million in back pay. (Ohio Valley Resource)

UTILITIES:
• An Arkansas electric cooperative says solar power and energy efficiency are bringing down its costs, and it’s asking regulators to approve a rate reduction for its members. (Camden News)
• A utility’s venture capital arm adds three more startup  companies to its portfolio that focus on operational improvements. (Greentech Media)

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EFFICIENCY: A new report looks at 63 energy efficiency programs that are trying to track health outcomes. (ACEEE)

COMMENTARY: A climate and energy attorney writes that it is astonishing and unacceptable that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission won’t consider the impact of climate change in its decisions. (The Hill)

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