U.S. Energy News

Lyft will buy offset credits to make all rides carbon neutral

CLIMATE: The ridesharing service Lyft will make all of its rides carbon neutral by purchasing carbon offset credits, which support emission mitigation projects such as renewable energy and reforestation. (The Atlantic)

ALSO:
Plans for an EPA climate science debate are “up in the air again” thanks to the departure of President Trump’s top energy aide. (E&E News)
A prominent author and former climate denier explores our reluctance to reduce our energy consumption. (Vox)
• Bowdoin College in Maine has achieved a zero-carbon footprint by reducing fossil fuel use and investing in renewable energy. (Portland Press Herald)

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SOLAR:
• Aggressive renewable energy policies have turned Lancaster, California, into the state’s top producer of solar energy per capita. (Yale Climate Connections)
• A Brooklyn-based solar company is hoping its raised rooftop solar canopies can expand solar energy in New York. (Curbed)
• Sunrun plans to lease rooftop solar to Florida homeowners, but only if state regulators agree not to regulate it as a public utility. (Southeast Energy News)

STORAGE:
A new report aims to help green groups promote battery storage technology and includes 50 actions nongovernmental organizations can take to accelerate battery storage adoption. (Greentech Media)
Tesla raised the price for its Powerwall energy storage system from $5,500 to $5,900, even as it scaled up its manufacturing operations. (Greentech Media)

WIND: Alliant Energy receives approval to add 500 MW of wind energy in Iowa; about one-third of its capacity will come from wind by 2020. (Utility Dive)

RENEWABLE ENERGY: Walmart announces plans to double the amount of renewable energy it uses in U.S. operations. (Solar Industry)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: States regulators and utilities across the U.S. are developing policies around electric vehicles to manage grid impacts, rates and infrastructure. (Ensia)

COAL:
• Sources say the Trump administration may use a 68-year-old statute designed to nationalize energy in times of war to help uneconomic coal plants stay open. (Bloomberg)
• Three new coal mines are scheduled to open in Virginia this year. (WVVA)

WILDLIFE: More than 60 members of Congress send a letter asking Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to reverse a decision to allow the incidental killing of birds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act — an issue that affects both the oil and wind industries. (The Hill)

EPA:
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and his staff are working on a new plan to restrict the type of scientific findings used by the agency, according to internal emails. (The Hill)
The EPA’s inspector general will investigate Pruitt’s use of 24-hour security detail while on personal trips. (Washington Post)

OIL & GAS:
The Interior Department will begin the environmental review process for oil and gas drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. (Washington Post)
Michigan regulators approve a request by DTE Energy to build two natural gas turbines near Detroit despite opposition from environmental groups in southeastern Michigan. (Detroit News)
Appalachian states renew a coalition in hopes they can transform the Appalachian Basin into a global energy hub on par with the Gulf Coast. (U.S. News & World Report)
Ohio University researchers are developing ways for oil and gas drillers to treat contaminated wastewater from fracking at the well site. (Midwest Energy News)

PIPELINES: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission plans to review its policies for approving interstate natural gas pipelines, which have not changed since 1999. (NJ Spotlight)

OFFSHORE DRILLING: Eight years after Deepwater Horizon, the agency that regulates offshore drilling safety still struggles to implement regulations that are now under threat of being rolled back. (NPR)

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COAL ASH: One in three coal plants in the U.S. have tested for high levels of contaminants at coal ash storage sites, though the EPA is considering rules that would weaken the consequences for companies. (ProPublica)

COMMENTARY:
Energy efficiency can help 32 states comply with U.S. air quality regulations, but many states are missing out on the opportunity, says a researcher at American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.
• The growth of electric vehicle adoption reduces demand for offshore oil and gas drilling. (Southern Alliance for Clean Energy)

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