U.S. Energy News

Lawmakers grill Energy Secretary on plan to support coal and nuclear

POLICY:
• Lawmakers on the House Energy and Commerce Committee grill Energy Secretary Rick Perry on his proposal to financially support coal and nuclear plants, saying the rule would be anti-competitive and destroy electricity markets. (The Hill)
• Meanwhile, Rick Perry tells the congressional hearing that his plan to support nuclear plants with incentives will boost national security. (Reuters)

POLITICS: A new Frontline documentary details the Trump administration’s effort to cater to the fossil fuel industry by scrapping environmental regulations. (Common Dreams)

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CARBON TAX: Research shows that most voters support a carbon tax and are willing to pay nearly 15 percent more for energy to help support one, but the Trump administration refuses it consider it. (Huffington Post)

CLIMATE:
• Coal boss Robert Murray tells interviewers that “mankind is not affecting climate change” and “the Earth has cooled for the last 19 years.” (InsideClimate News)
• Most Americans polled think weather disasters are more severe than in the past and nearly half think man-made climate change in the main culprit. (Associated Press)

SOLAR:
• The country’s third-largest concentrated solar tower developer appears to have ceased operations. (Greentech Media)
• Data show eight of the 10 fastest growing U.S. solar markets in the past year were states won by President Trump in 2016, with Alabama and Mississippi topping the list. (Reuters)
• An Ikea store under construction near Indianapolis plans to have the largest rooftop solar installation in Indiana. (Anderson Herald Bulletin)

STORAGE: The German startup Sonnen will install energy storage systems in 2,900 new houses in Prescott Valley, Arizona. (Greentech Media)

WIND: Falling wind energy costs are putting pressure on the coal and nuclear industry in the Midwest. (E&E News)

RENEWABLES: Puerto Rico could become a case study on how to build a clean energy grid that’s resilient to storms. (Greentech Media)

CLEAN TECH: An Illinois-based startup develops a network that makes it easier for energy companies and other firms to trade commodities like renewable energy, oil and natural gas. (Midwest Energy News)

PIPELINES:
• A federal judge dismisses a lawsuit against the Dakota Access pipeline developer after landowners said the company used deceitful tactics to acquire land easements. (Associated Press)
• Lawyers tell a Montana judge that President Trump’s order to greenlight the Keystone XL pipeline only covers the section of the project that crosses the U.S.-Canada border. (Common Dreams)

OIL & GAS: Fossil fuel groups sue a Denver suburb for imposing tougher rules on oil and gas drilling. (Associated Press)

GRID: A proposal by the electricity market CAISO to expand from California across the West is being stymied by political resistance, but some transmission developers are moving ahead with new lines. (Utility Dive)

COMMENTARY:
• Killing the Clean Power Plan isn’t going to revive the coal industry, says a writer for the Union of Concerned Scientists. (Huffington Post)
• EPA administrator Scott Pruitt has an “embarrassingly weak case” for scrapping the Clean Power Plan, says a former EPA policy adviser. (Climate Reality Project)
• Advocates say evidence is mounting that the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a bad deal for both Virginia’s economy and the environment. (Natural Resources Defense Council)
• Despite efforts by the Trump administration, energy markets aren’t likely to shift in the near term due to “legal challenges and simply the way competitive energy markets work,” researchers say. (The Conversation)

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