U.S. Energy News

Is natural gas a bridge or a barrier for renewable energy?

RENEWABLES: Cheap natural gas is looking less like a bridge fuel and more like a hurdle that’s slowing development of wind and solar, analysts say. (Bloomberg)

ALSO: U.S. renewable electricity capacity has doubled since 2010 while actual generation jumped 77% in that time, according to a new report. (Utility Dive)

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WIND: Wind energy leases have provided additional revenue for U.S. farmers as crop income becomes more uncertain. (USA Today)

Connecticut utilities — rather than solar developers — will be tasked with finding and signing up low-income residents for a newly approved shared solar program. (Energy News Network)
A report suggests California homebuilders tried to avoid the state’s new requirement that all new homes be solar-powered by rushing to take out new building permits towards the end of 2019. (East Bay Times)
West Virginia’s state senate passes a bill that could spur up to 400 MW of solar development. The House is set to review the bill today. (WVPB, WV Metro News) 

A Washington state bill to ban gasoline cars failed last week, but the idea behind it has more momentum than it might seem. (E&E News)
Utility ConEd in New York City is rolling out a $13 million demonstration project of 60 public charging stations across the five boroughs. (Utility Dive)

A survey of utility employees suggests most do not see stranded assets such as uneconomic fossil fuel plants as a serious financial risk. (Utility Dive)
Xcel Energy plans to return $39.4 million to Texas customers because of low natural gas prices and adding more wind energy to their system. (KFDA)

Nearly 20% of the coal delivered in the first three quarters of 2019 went to power plants that are set to close by 2025. (S&P Global)
The U.S. EPA is on the verge of weakening regulations on mercury pollution despite opposition from unions, business groups and utilities. (Washington Post)

PIPELINES: Federal regulators approve an environmental impact statement for the Mountain Valley Pipeline’s extension into North Carolina, concluding damage would be “less than significant.” (Roanoke Times)

BIOFUELS: The U.S. EPA is seeking guidance from the White House on the future of its controversial biofuel waiver program, a source says. (Reuters) 

New Mexico activists question Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s commitment to reducing emissions given the ongoing Permian Basin oil and gas boom. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)
A Republican Utah congressman has started holding climate chats on Twitter, and says he believes common ground can be found on environmental policy. (E&E News)
Despite strong political support for the coal industry in West Virginia, state lawmakers are starting to pay attention to climate change. (Ohio Valley Resource)

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EFFICIENCY: A Google spin-off company is looking to ramp up home geothermal installations and is ready to expand in New York. (Greentech Media)

• Renewable natural gas is not as low-carbon as the industry claims, and even if it was there’s not enough of it to go around, David Roberts writes. (Vox)
• A Boston University professor who staged a two-week hunger strike against a compressor station under construction says it was worth the effort because of the attention it drew to the project’s dangers. (CommonWealth Magazine)

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