U.S. Energy News

Is installing solar an act of religious expression?

SOLAR: A Massachusetts church challenges local officials’ rejection of its solar plan, arguing it impinges on religious freedom. (Boston Globe)

ALSO:
• Agreement within the utility industry on how to further democratize distributed energy “appears elusive.” (Utility Dive)
• Solar installers say a California utility’s plan would make rooftop solar accessible only to the very wealthy. (Palm Springs Desert Sun)

WIND: A New York utility pursues an offshore wind project off Long Island that would be the nation’s largest. (Bloomberg)

NUCLEAR:
• An industry group says Massachusetts’ push for clean energy could put New England’s last nuclear plants out of business. (Bloomberg)
• A report finds the Department of Energy fails to protect whistleblowers from retaliation. (McClatchy)

PIPELINES: Groups that have been closely involved with Michigan’s inquiry into the safety and alternatives to Enbridge’s Line 5 say the process is moving too slowly and continues to favor the company. (Midwest Energy News)

OIL AND GAS:
• Companies are spending millions to defeat Colorado ballot measures that would impose more local control over drilling. (Reuters)
• BP estimates the total cost of the 2010 Gulf oil spill at $61.6 billion. (Houston Chronicle)
• A fifth California county pursues a fracking ban. (East Bay Express)
• An oil company agrees to plead guilty to two criminal charges for a 2011 spill in Montana. (Associated Press)

COAL: A West Virginia report predicts coal will continue to decline before the industry stabilizes: “You see a bottom forming. We’re not necessarily there yet.” (MetroNews)

OVERSIGHT:
• A new Virginia law giving lawmakers the power to freeze rates – potentially a boon for utilities – may face a challenge in the state Supreme Court. (Southeast Energy News)
• Advocates criticize Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder for appointing a former BP lobbyist to lead the state Department of Environmental Quality. (Detroit Free Press)

CLIMATE:
• Salt Lake City approves a resolution committing to 100 percent renewable energy by 2032. (EcoWatch)
• A new report urges investors to look more closely at the financial risks of climate change. (Christian Science Monitor)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Sales of electric cars are rising despite low gasoline prices. (ClimateWire)

UTILITIES: Southern Company’s CEO sees electrification of the economy as a key driver of future U.S. growth. (EnergyWire)

POLITICS: Democrats will be asked to endorse an official party platform that calls for putting a price on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions, but which stops short of explicitly calling for a carbon tax. (InsideClimate News)

COMMENTARY:
• Why clean energy is booming in conservative states. (Nexus Media)
• What a conservative climate action agenda might look like. (Grist)

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