U.S. Energy News

Investors dump crude, coal in wake of Iran deal, bankruptcies

CRUDE OIL:
• Speculators cut bullish bets on oil to the lowest level since March because the agreement over Iran’s nuclear program threatens to prolong a global supply glut. (Bloomberg)
• U.S. producers idled seven oil rigs last week, amid faltering crude prices that scuttled a short-lived rebound in oil patch activity. (FuelFix)

COAL:
• The world’s largest asset manager has tapered its coal investments as waves of financial distress crash across the industry. (EnergyWire)
Since January, six domestic coal producers have filed for bankruptcy, taking a heavy toll on communities in West Virginia and Kentucky. (The New York Times)
State and federal regulators are pressing U.S. coal companies to prove they can pay for the cost of cleaning up after they are finished mining. (The Market Business)

ALSO:
A pair of senators introduced legislation Friday to change federal coal ash disposal standards, requiring states to adopt the standards or let the EPA enforce them itself. (The Hill)
Mercury levels in bluefish caught off the U.S. Atlantic coast dropped more than 40 percent over the past four decades due to federal restrictions on coal emissions, according to a new study. (Environmental Health News)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: A federal judge on Friday dismissed Oklahoma’s second lawsuit against the EPA’s climate rule for power plants, deciding the regulation cannot be challenged until it is finalized. (The Hill)

OFFSHORE DRILLING:
The oil industry says that Deepwater Horizon-inspired regulations for offshore drilling would impose “ill-advised” mandates that could make some wells impossible to drill. (FuelFix)
Five years after the Obama administration promised to move swiftly to permanently plug unused oil and gas wells in the Gulf of Mexico, the number with aging temporary seals is growing. (Associated Press)

ARCTIC DRILLING: Shell’s two drilling rigs have left Unalaska on their way to the Arctic Ocean, even though the company is awaiting two federal permits before exploratory drilling can begin. (Alaska Dispatch News)

TRAIN SPILL: Four tank cars spilled an estimated 35,000 gallons of oil after a train hauling fuel from North Dakota to Washington state derailed in rural northeastern Montana Thursday. (Associated Press)

NET METERING: Clean-energy advocates are criticizing a proposal from Michigan Republicans to redesign the state’s net metering process, claiming it is a giveaway to protect utilities’ profits. (Midwest Energy News)

EFFICIENCY: The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers says the latest federal efficiency standards for dishwashers would cause consumers to re-wash dishes, erasing any energy savings. (The Hill)

PRESIDENTIAL RACE: Nearly all of the lobbyists bundling contributions for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign have at one time worked for the fossil fuel industry. (The Huffington Post)

ANALYSIS: There are several reasons to question last week’s report that asserts utility-scale solar is much more economical than small-scale solar. (Institute for Local Self Reliance)

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