U.S. Energy News

Judge allows ExxonMobil to examine Massachusetts AG records in climate investigation

CLIMATE: A federal judge issues a discovery order allowing ExxonMobil to conduct an intrusive examination of the Massachusetts attorney general’s investigation into whether Exxon concealed information about climate change. (Washington Post)

OIL AND GAS:
• A Houston-based company is one step closer to getting federal approval to build a liquefied natural gas export terminal in South Texas, but the project has raised pollution and safety concerns. (San Antonio Business Journal)
• The Bureau of Land Management will hold its first online auction of federally owned oil and gas leases in Colorado this December, a move that’s expected to save money and deter protests by environmental groups. (Denver Business Journal)
• Oil production in North Dakota drops below 1 million barrels per day for the first time since April 2014. (Associated Press)

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COAL: A Utah-based coal company with mines in Wyoming and Montana has begun exporting fuel to Asia through a Canadian port, allowing it to scrap plans for export terminals in Washington and Oregon that were opposed by environmentalists. (Associated Press)

PIPELINES:
• A successful plan to shut down pipelines carrying oil from Canada into the U.S. this week was orchestrated by two activists who blocked a coal shipment to a Massachusetts power station in 2013 using a lobster boat. (Reuters)
• Senator Bernie Sanders and four other lawmakers write an open letter asking President Obama to stop construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline pending an environmental and cultural review. (Reuters)

FRACKING: A new report shows at least 650,000 children spend their days within a mile of a fracking facility, which has been shown to increase the risk of asthma and other respiratory ailments. (ThinkProgress)

CARBON TAX:
• Washington’s Department of Commerce incorrectly forecast that a carbon tax would cause a 20 percent increase in the state’s electricity prices by 2020, when the real increase is closer to 5 percent. (Seattle Times)
• A ballot measure to implement the first statewide carbon tax in Washington is revealing division among climate activists, with critics saying it doesn’t not do enough to win support from minority and low-income groups. (Los Angeles Times)

GRID: President Obama tells the federal government to formulate a plan to deal with “space weather” that could disrupt parts of the country’s electric grid. (NBC News)

UTILITIES:
• Annual home energy costs in Ohio and western New York are among the highest in the nation, according to a recent analysis. (Denver Post)
• Home heating bills are expected to increase this winter thanks to colder temperatures and higher prices for natural gas, heating oil, electricity and propane. (Associated Press)
• An environmental group files a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a state law that blocked its legal battle against the construction of a natural gas plant in North Carolina. (News & Observer)

CLEAN TECH: Tesla will need to raise about $12.5 billion by the end of 2018 to fund its merger with SolarCity, says a key analyst. (CNBC)

SOLAR:
• A solar company backed by celebrity science educator Bill Nye is developing technology to reduce the cost of making silicon wafers for solar panels and increasing their efficiency. (TreeHugger)
• After more than a year of heated discussions between legislators and industry leaders, Montana has yet to make meaningful net-metering reforms. (Utility Dive)
• An interactive map that ranks which Chicago-area properties have the most potential for community solar projects is sparking interest in the city. (Midwest Energy News)

WIND: An Oregon start-up that’s harnessing wind energy using kites receives a $600,000 grant from the Department of Agriculture. (Portland Business Journal)

HYDRO: Renewable energy policies in Massachusetts and New York have sparked interest in importing hydroelectricity from Canada, but it means utilities will have to build new transmission lines across the border. (Greentech Media)

POLITICS: Hacked emails released by WikiLeaks show that Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager thought endorsing a carbon tax could be a “lethal” mistake in her run for the presidency. (The Hill)

POLICY: The CEO of New Jersey utility giant PSEG criticizes New York’s plan to overhaul its energy grid. (Politico)

COMMENTARY: With a relatively small number of companies behind two-thirds of human-caused carbon emissions, we need to start holding corporate carbon producers accountable. (Huffington Post)

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