U.S. Energy News

Judges skeptical of challenge to proposed EPA rule

EPA RULE: A panel of federal judges appeared inclined Thursday to dismiss the first legal challenge to President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, brought by nation’s two largest coal companies and more than two dozen states. (The New York Times)

ALSO:
Two of the states challenging the Obama administration’s landmark climate rule for power plants said they are not optimistic that it will succeed. (The Hill)
• Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s call for governors to defy the Clean Power Plan has been met mostly with silence, but leaders in downwind New England states and drought-stricken areas in the West are pushing back. (Associated Press)
The Koch-funded Beacon Hill Institute argues that the Clean Power Plan will cause exorbitant electricity rates, $8 billion in losses to the economy and compromise the reliability of the nation’s electricity supply. (InsideClimate News)
Despite the Republican efforts to kill the Clean Power Plan, the author of a new report says most states have begun planning to comply with emissions limits for power plants. (Midwest Energy News)

EMISSIONS: After two years of decline, total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions increased 2 percent in 2013 over the previous year, fueled by a growing economy, falling coal prices and a cold winter, the EPA announced Thursday. (Climate Central)

OIL:
• BP shareholders voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to publish regular updates on how its strategies affect climate change, making it one of the first global oil companies to disclose such details. (Reuters)
BP pumped billions of dollars into low-carbon technology and green energy for decades but gradually retired the program to focus almost exclusively on its fossil fuels, according to a new analysis. (Guardian)

SOLAR:
• NRG Energy hopes that Incorporating sprinkler controls with home energy systems will give the company a bigger role in customers’ homes as consumption of fossil fuels wanes. (Bloomberg)
• New Mexico’s attorney general has joined a coalition of environmental and clean-energy groups calling on the state to dismiss a utility proposal to impose a grid “access fee” on customers who install solar panels. (Albuquerque Journal)
• Total combined solar electric capacity in Oregon and Washington is expected to top 200 megawatts by the end of 2015—enough to power nearly 25,000 homes. (Altenergymag.com)

BIOFUELS: A plan to overhaul the nation’s biofuel mandates—instead of repealing them altogether—would do more harm than good, a Koch executive warned Congress on Thursday. (Fuel Fix)

NUCLEAR: The U.S. Department of Energy awarded 91college students more than $5 million in scholarships and fellowships to study in nuclear energy fields, the agency announced Thursday. (The Hill)

BUSINESS: Apple announced Thursday a new focus on using paper from sustainably harvested trees and relying on more renewable power overseas, where Apple relies heavily on contract manufacturers. (The Washington Post)

 

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