U.S. Energy News

Judge blocks Wyoming drilling until feds study climate impact

OIL & GAS: A federal judge blocks drilling on 300,000 acres in Wyoming, saying the government failed to adequately consider the impact on climate change before auctioning off federal land to oil and gas drillers. (Reuters)

ALSO:
• Occidental Petroleum’s CEO says she wants her oil-drilling company to eventually be carbon neutral, which critics called “absurd.” (CNN)
Fracking is banned in Maryland, but a newly converted $4.4 billion export facility in the state is a gateway to ship natural gas around the world. (Baltimore Sun)

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ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Amnesty International says the electric vehicle industry relies on fossil fuels and unethically sourced minerals to make many of its batteries. (Reuters)

TRANSMISSION: After years of uncertainty, Missouri regulators unanimously approve plans for the Grain Belt Express transmission project, which will move wind energy from Kansas to eastern markets. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

WIND:
• A recent survey shows U.S. residents would prefer to live near wind turbines than a hypothetical fossil fuel plant. (E&E News, subscription)
At an event in Ohio, President Trump falsely claims “windmills” hurt property values; studies have shown no impact. (The Hill, U.S. Dept. of Energy)

SOLAR:
• Entergy New Orleans pilots a program that installs solar panels on low-income customers’ roofs and gives them a $30 monthly credit. (Electric Light & Power)
• A developer is chosen for a 1.4 MW solar project atop a Manhattan convention center, which will be the largest rooftop array in New York City. (Solar Power World)

POLITICS:
• 2020 presidential hopeful Jay Inslee tells renewable industry leaders that the private sector is crucial to fighting climate change. (E&E News)
• Sen. Bernie Sanders is the first 2020 presidential candidate to pledge to offset carbon emissions related to campaign travel. (HuffPost)
• Wind and solar developers are reluctant to support the Green New Deal, which some say is unrealistic and too politically divisive. (Reuters)
• President Trump’s top economic advisor still supports a carbon tax as a way to address greenhouse gas emissions. (E&E News)

TECHNOLOGY: ComEd tests the potential of off-grid street lights powered by wind, solar and battery storage in Chicago. (Energy News Network)

COAL: Programs in Appalachia train displaced coal workers in green energy jobs to help form a new economy in the region as coal declines. (Grist)

BIOMASS: A coalition of environmental organizations said biomass is not a clean energy source, so Massachusetts should stop providing assistance. (Daily Hampshire Gazette)

PIPELINES:
• A North Carolina judge delays a decision on a lawsuit by Robeson County property owners fighting the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. (Robesonian)
• A court rules that a Massachusetts town cannot use its wetland ordinance to block a compressor station. (Reuters)

OFFSHORE DRILLING: An oil and gas drilling auction in the Gulf of Mexico receives $244.3 million in high bids. (Reuters)

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BIOFUELS: Last week’s winter storm that caused major flooding in the Midwest “wreaked havoc” on the U.S. ethanol industry. (Platts)

COMMENTARY: A solar developer fears a “gold rush mentality” has overtaken the community solar movement, endangering its long-term viability. (Greentech Media)

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