U.S. Energy News

Leaks may negate all climate benefits from using natural gas

METHANE:

  • Natural gas has been touted as an environmentally friendly substitute for coal and oil, but a new report estimates enough methane is leaking from its production to negate most of the climate benefits. (Guardian)
  • The EPA has started the final review stage for proposed regulations to minimize methane leaks from the oil and natural gas sector. (The Hill)

CLEAN POWER PLAN:

  • The House voted 247-180 Wednesday to delay the EPA’s Clean Power Plan and let state governors opt out of complying, while the Senate mulled a bill that would go ever further. (The Hill)
  • Indiana’s governor announced Wednesday that his state would not follow the EPA’s impending Clean Power Plan. (Chicago Tribune)

DIVESTMENT: A bill requiring California’s state pension funds to sell their investments in companies that generate at least half their revenue from coal mining passed a state Assembly committee by a vote of 5-1 on Wednesday. (Reuters)

OIL SANDS: Oil extracted from Canada’s oil sands produces greenhouse-gas emissions that are, on average, 20 percent higher than those from U.S. crude, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. (Dow Jones News Service)

MICROGRIDS: Over the next five years, the cumulative operational capacity of microgrids in the U.S. is expected to more than double, according to GTM Research. (GreenTech Media)

COAL:

  • The coal industry is making a last-ditch appeal to the Obama administration to loosen its strict proposed limits on greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants. (InsideClimate News)
  • A $3 billion package to help struggling coal communities transition to a new economy is sitting unappropriated in the Republican-led Congress. (InsideClimate News)
  • The owners of a coal-fired power plant on the Navajo Nation reached a $1.5 million settlement Wednesday with federal agencies over complaints they violated the Clean Air Act. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR: The U.S. Department of Energy will guarantee $1.8 billion in loans for the operators of two new nuclear reactors under construction in Georgia, the department announced on Wednesday. (The Hill)

SOLAR: Minnesota’s community solar garden program will be one of the largest two in the country, even if regulators decide this week to reduce its scope. (Midwest Energy News)

GOOGLE: Google announced Wednesday that it will build a new data center in Alabama powered 100 percent by renewable energy at the site of a coal-fired power plant scheduled for closing. (EcoWatch)

SHALE DRILLING:

  • The surge in shale drilling has started to slow under the weight of a global crude collapse, and that downturn is likely to stick around for a while, BP’s chief U.S. economist said Wednesday. (FuelFix)
  • The Pennsylvania Department of Health kept a log of health complaints related to natural gas development that reveals an array of concerns and the agency’s limited follow-up. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

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