U.S. Energy News

‘It’s a very big deal’: Texas utility announces it’s going coal-free

COAL: An El Paso utility becomes the first in Texas to completely eliminate coal from its energy mix. (El Paso Times)

ALSO:
• Environmentalists criticize a plan to leave toxic coal pond residue at six Tennessee power plants. (Times Free Press)
• A miners’ union chips in with an $28.5 million settlement as bankrupt Alpha Natural Resources terminates health care benefits for retired workers. (The Southern Illinoisan)
• Georgia considers tougher regulations against 
coal ash in coastal landfills. (Savannah Morning News)
• The Interior Department may close a loophole that lets coal companies lease public lands below market value. (PRI)
• More than 250,000 people call for reforming the federal coal leasing program. (The Hill)
• Wyoming legislative candidates are unconcerned about coal mines self-bonding for cleanup costs: “many of them do the right thing, or as close to it as they can.” (Casper Star-Tribune)

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NUCLEAR: New York regulators are expected to vote today on whether to subsidize its nuclear power plants under a proposed Clean Energy Standard. (Reuters)

MASSACHUSETTS:
• State lawmakers reach a late-night compromise that requires the state’s utilities to purchase 1,600 MW of offshore wind and 1,200 MW of other renewable energy. (MassLive) 
• Environmental advocates in Massachusetts oppose a plan to designate wood fuel as renewable energy, citing carbon emissions. (Boston Globe)

UTILITIES: The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners issues a draft manual with a focus on the penetration of net-metered solar. (Greentech Media)

GRID: New Mexico regulators question whether a utility’s smart meter plan will save ratepayers money. (Albuquerque Business First)

SOLAR:
• The Nevada Supreme Court hears arguments on a referendum to revert net metering rates to pre-2016 levels, which were more favorable to residential solar customers. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
• A new California law speeds up the permitting process for small residential solar systems. (InsideClimate News)

WIND: A proposed wind farm off the California coast would be the world’s largest(The Guardian)

OIL & GAS:
• Washington Attorney General’s Office says a crude oil terminal being proposed in Vancouver should be rejected due to spill risks. (Seattle Times)
• Cheap crude oil and natural gas are hurting plastics recycling. (Associated Press)
Texas sues the EPA over new regulations that limit oilfield methane emissions. (The Texas Tribune)
• Oregon and Washington aim to decrease oil transit after June train derailment. (New York Times)

FRACKING: Donald Trump seems to support state and local bans on fracking. (The Hill)

CLIMATE: Storing carbon underground may be safer than previously thought, according to a new study. (Washington Post)

POLITICS:
Climate politics could decide whether Democrats or Republicans win in Ohio. (Midwest Energy News)
• Trump and Clinton’s contrasting platforms on climate change move into the spotlight. (New York Times)

FINANCE: A new structure for funding energy improvements on non-residential properties is gaining traction in Ohio. (Midwest Energy News)

POLLUTION: Volkswagen is ready to begin testing hardware and software that could fix pollution issues for its 2.0L diesels. (Reuters)

ELECTRIC CARS: Wireless charging pads are on the horizon for electric vehicles. (The Detroit News)

COMMENTARY:
• U.S. wind power is thriving, but a better transmission system is needed. (Huffington Post)
• California’s cap-and-trade program faces opposition despite cutting pollution. (Los Angeles Times)
South Carolina pays the price for lagging on energy efficiency. (Southeast Energy News)
• Elon Musk says even Libertarians should support a carbon tax. (Forbes)

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