U.S. Energy News

Judge deals rebuke to Trump’s ‘temporary’ agency appointments

OVERSIGHT: A federal judge rules William Perry Pendley is illegally serving as acting director of the Bureau of Land Management, challenging the constitutionality of the Trump administration’s practice of leaving unconfirmed “temporary” appointments in key positions. (Associated Press)

ALSO: The Interior Department suspends equity trainings “out of an abundance of caution” in response to a Trump executive order opposing the practice. (E&E News)

SUPREME COURT: Amy Coney Barrett’s judicial record doesn’t offer many clues as to how she would influence environmental cases if confirmed to the Supreme Court. (E&E News)

CARBON CAPTURE: ExxonMobil may have claimed hundreds of millions of dollars in tax credits for a Wyoming carbon capture project, while fighting a requirement to submit monitoring plans to the EPA. (InsideClimate)

POWER PLANTS: The Trump administration quietly reclassifies power plant “cooling ponds” as “waste treatment systems,” potentially stripping at least a dozen lakes from protection under the Clean Water Act. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR: Decommissioning is underway at Iowa’s only nuclear plant, which opted not to restart after being damaged in a strong storm last month. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

PIPELINES:
• The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers reissues three permits for the Mountain Valley Pipeline to cross nearly 1,000 streams and wetlands. (Roanoke Times)
• Despite a recent agreement, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s lawsuit seeking to decommission the Line 5 pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac is still open and active. (Michigan Advance)

OIL & GAS: Closures and bankruptcies have abruptly rattled oil refining towns from California to Louisiana. (E&E News, subscription)

UTILITIES:
• Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont calls the state legislature into a special session this week partly to deal with a proposal to penalize utilities for slow service restoration after major storms. (CT Post)
Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan declines to testify before a legislative committee investigating possible disciplinary action over his alleged ties to the ComEd bribery scandal. (CBS Chicago)

SOLAR:
• Utah regulators this week will hear a case that could change the way Rocky Mountain Power customers are compensated for solar power. (Deseret News)
• Minnesota solar developers claim Xcel Energy is stalling new projects through delays in its interconnection process. (Star Tribune)

GRID: Smart meter programs are helping Missouri utilities roll out new customer rate programs that incentivize saving energy during peak times. (Energy News Network)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• The New York City Sanitation Department starts a trial run of its first electric garbage truck. (Business Insider)
• Ameren Missouri has approval to begin installing electric vehicle charging stations that will be part of a planned multi-state network with other utilities. (St. Louis Public Radio)

ANALYSIS: Energy writer David Roberts explains why oil companies’ climate pledges are doomed to fall short. (Vox)

COMMENTARY:
• A web of fossil fuel interests, conservative think tanks and climate change deniers fund efforts to derail Pennsylvania’s entry into a regional emissions-trading agreement. (Energy Policy Institute)
Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette criticizes renewable energy and pushes natural gas and nuclear power to provide “24/7 reliable energy” to California. (Orange County Register)

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