U.S. Energy News

Judge approves $14.7 billion deal in VW emissions scandal

EMISSIONS: A U.S. district judge approves a $14.7 billion settlement over Volkswagen’s diesel emissions cheating scandal, with the German automaker slated to start buying back polluting cars next month. (Reuters)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: An electric car start-up constructing a $1 billion factory in Nevada is accumulating tens of million in unpaid bills. (Los Angeles Times)

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ADVOCACY: American Indian tribes in Washington state ask President Obama to change how the federal government consults with tribes on fossil fuel projects, suggesting a five-point plan. (Associated Press)

COAL: An appeals court is reviewing the case of former coal company CEO Don Blankenship, who was sent to prison for conspiring on safety violations at Massey Energy. (Associated Press)

OIL & GAS:
• Over 200 oil and gas companies in North America have filed for bankruptcy since the start of 2015. (FuelFix)
• Houston pipeline company Spectra Energy faces five separate lawsuits for selling itself to the Canadian energy firm Enbridge for only $28 billion, with shareholders saying the company should have sought higher paying merger partners. (FuelFix)

PIPELINES:
• Al Gore calls the Dakota Access Pipeline “dangerous” and praises the protesters who are fighting the project in North Dakota. (The Hill)
• As tensions escalate over the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Obama Administration asks the developer to voluntarily halt construction for the second time. (Seattle Times)

POLLUTION: Officials say a 55,000-gallon gasoline leak in a Pennsylvania creek was caused by a washed-out bridge hitting an 8-inch pipeline. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR:
• Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz says Congress needs to pass legislation that creates an interim storage facility for spent nuclear fuel, calling the waste problem a “significant headwind” for opening new nuclear plants. (Morning Consult)
• Protesters for a pro-nuclear group say a Chicago environmental organization is standing in the way of legislation that would aid Illinois’ nuclear power plants. (Midwest Energy News)

GRID: States’ renewable energy plans can’t succeed without effective interconnection policies. (Greentech Media)

SOLAR:
• A California-based startup unveils an all-in-one home energy product that aims to make residential storage more profitable by bundling rooftop solar, lithium-ion batteries and an energy management system. (Greentech Media)
• A California community known for its plentiful rooftop solar installations illustrates how solar growth has slowed across the state due to less incentives and fewer potential customers. (Reuters)
• A mysterious voters guide purporting to back Democratic candidate surfaces in the Miami area urging a “yes” vote on Florida’s utility-backed Amendment 1. (Miami Herald)

WIND: A Minnesota utility announces plans for four new wind farms in Minnesota and North Dakota that total 750 megawatts. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: As part of an effort to comply with the Clean Power Plan, a Virginia utility submitted a plan that layers “error upon error” by inflating future power needs and the costs of integrating solar systems, according to clean energy advocates. (Southeast Energy News)

POLICY: Advisors to presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump clash over energy policy during a debate hosted by a university in Virginia. (The Hill)

RENEWABLE ENERGY:
• Defense contractor Lockheed Martin turns its focus toward developing renewable energy technologies. (Bloomberg)
• Ohio would save millions of dollars and gain 136,000 jobs by 2030 by supporting clean-energy policies, according to a study by environmental groups. (Columbus Dispatch)

COMMENTARY: How reinvigorating Ohio’s clean energy standards could save $5 billion by 2030. (Environmental Defense Fund)

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