U.S. Energy News

Judge orders EPA to implement Obama-era ozone pollution rule

REGULATION: A federal judge says the Trump administration broke the law by failing to properly implement an Obama-era ozone pollution rule and orders EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to publish what areas of the country are not in compliance. (The Hill)

• Two former EPA chiefs send a letter asking Administrator Scott Pruitt to scrap a proposal that would weaken pollution standards for heavy-duty trucks, saying the agency needs to rely “on the best available science.” (The Hill)
• The Trump administration asks a court to dismiss a lawsuit that challenges a new policy that prevents EPA grant recipients from serving on the agency’s external scientific advisory committees. (The Hill)

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• Solar advocates worry if Virginia-based Dominion Energy’s proposed purchase of SCANA goes through, it will be a setback to solar energy in South Carolina. (Southeast Energy News)
• Residential solar installer Sunrun is expanding while adding revenue streams like energy storage and grid services. (Greentech Media)
A California-based roofing and solar company plans to expand operations in Florida, Utah and Colorado. (PV Magazine)

WIND: The CEO of the company that just bought Texas’s largest utility sees an opportunity to use surplus wind power for electric vehicles. (Bloomberg)

RENEWABLES: The introduction of renewable energy ballot initiatives in Michigan, Arizona and Nevada has some wondering whether renewable portfolio standards (RPSs) are still necessary now that costs for wind and solar have dropped. (Utility Dive)

BIOFUELS: EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt says he may limit who can trade government-issued ethanol credits in order to keep prices down for oil refineries. (Houston Chronicle)

• Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says he’s talking with law firms about a plan to sue oil companies for “knowingly killing people all over the world.” (The Hill)
• A second wrongful death lawsuit is filed in connection with a deadly natural gas rig explosion in Oklahoma that killed three men in January. (Associated Press)

POLLUTION: Sunoco, Shell and BP agree to pay nearly $200 million for polluting New Jersey’s groundwater with a potentially carcinogenic gasoline additive. (NJ Spotlight)

• The Trump administration’s plan to expand the country’s offshore drilling is being slowed by opposition from coastal states and indifference from oil companies. (Reuters)
• Nearly every state that would be affected by increased offshore drilling vows to fight with any means at their disposal. (Politico)
• Opponents and advocates of offshore drilling release dueling analyses of the costs and benefits for each coastal state. (Savannah Morning News)

PIPELINES: A U.S. appeals court has ruled against New York’s attempt to block construction of the Millennium Pipeline Co.’s Valley Lateral project. (Bloomberg)

COAL: Critics say Dynegy’s proposal for new capacity payments to help its Illinois coal plants is unnecessary since there is “more than enough” generation available in the state. (Midwest Energy News)

COAL ASH: The full effects of coal ash on groundwater are unknown because the government doesn’t monitor them. (New Republic)

NUCLEAR: A Republican lawmaker from Illinois is leading a quiet effort to revive plans to send the nation’s nuclear waste to the Yucca Mountain repository in Nevada. (Washington Examiner)

TECHNOLOGY: Energy-focused blockchain startups raised over $320 million during the last year, and a new company is popping up about once a week. (Greentech Media)

• Universities are showing politicians how to successfully implement a carbon tax by creating their own campus-wide models. (Wired)
• Tesla CEO Elon Musk calls for a price on carbon during an event in Texas, saying market distortions are holding back clean energy solutions like wind and solar. (Greentech Media)

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CLIMATE: A major climate report being prepared by federal scientists will likely contradict the Trump administration’s skepticism about human-caused climate change. (Washington Post)

• The Trump administration is taking little action to protect its citizens from future climate disasters, despite warnings from reputable scientists, says a columnist for the New York Times.
• One of the most progressive measures in Virginia’s grid modernization plan requires Dominion Energy to consider a technology that dates back to Thomas Edison — and that’s a good thing, says a guest columnist. (Southeast Energy News)
• Energy analysts say there is little evidence that exports will help revive the U.S. coal sector. (Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis)

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