U.S. Energy News

Maryland sues EPA for allowing out-of-state plants to pollute its air

POLLUTION: Maryland is suing the EPA for allowing power plants in five upwind states to pollute its air. (Associated Press)

CLIMATE: A new report finds that extreme weather, made worse by climate change, and the health impacts of burning fossil fuels has cost the U.S. economy at least $240 billion a year over the past 10 years. (National Geographic)

GRID: Puerto Rico’s grid is “virtually gone” after Hurricane Maria, and the rebuilding process provides a unique opportunity to create a greener energy system on the island. (USA Today, CityLab)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: The Trump administration is expected to issue a scaled back version of the Clean Power Plan within the next two weeks. (E&E News)

COAL:
• Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin says he will oppose the confirmation of a longtime coal industry executive that has been nominated to head the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• As Illinois environmental officials work out a plan with Dynegy to redesign pollution limits for financially struggling coal plants, advocates are concerned the new rules could shutter cleaner-burning plants. (Midwest Energy News)

OIL AND GAS: Amid ongoing debates over moving crude oil by rail versus pipelines, two new studies offer insight into the economics, health impacts and risks of the two options. (Midwest Energy News)

FRACKING: House Science and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith asks social media companies to release information about Russian entities that may have bought anti-fracking advertisements, saying the political messages may “have negatively affected certain energy sectors.” (Reuters)

PIPELINES:
• Natural gas industry executives tell conference-goers that Appalachia desperately needs more pipelines. (Pittsburgh Business Times)
• FERC says it’s “inappropriate” for the regulatory body to try to figure out the climate change impact of a controversial Florida pipeline, following a federal court ruling that regulators should have addressed the issue before approving the construction. (Tampa Bay Times)
• FERC says greenhouse gas emissions from Florida’s natural gas plants served by the new Sabal Trail pipeline will not significantly impact the environment. (Palm Beach Post)

OIL & GAS:
• Chevron Appalachia and Peoples Natural Gas are pushing for policies that they say will boost Pennsylvania’s petrochemical industry and local economy. (Pittsburgh Business Times)
• Records show that Texas’ chief oil and gas regulator was on vacation in the chaotic days surrounding Hurricane Harvey. (Associated Press)

TRANSPORTATION: California officials are considering banning the sale of gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles, but the move would be at least a decade away. (Bloomberg)

SOLAR: SolarCity agrees to pay nearly $30 million to settle allegations that it broke the law by overstating its costs to maximize federal reimbursements under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. (Utility Dive)

WIND: Xcel Energy plans to build and own a 300 megawatt wind project in South Dakota, which would put the utility on pace to surpass 10,000 megawatts of wind on its system, or enough to power every home in Minnesota and Wisconsin. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR:
• Two South Carolina utilities are selling their share of a $2.2 billion settlement over the failed Summer nuclear project in order to immediately recover 92 percent of the cash. (Associated Press)
Following requests from South Carolina’s attorney general and lawmakers, the State Law Enforcement Division is opening a criminal investigation into the $9 billion failure of the Summer nuclear project. (Post and Courier)
A Michigan nuclear plant will stay open until 2022 after a utility drops plans to exit its power purchase agreement. (Midwest Energy News)

POLITICS:
• Energy Secretary Rick Perry said his department may intervene if state policies are threatening energy supplies, but energy lawyers say the DOE has little authority to address state energy decisions. (Utility Dive)
• EPA Chief Scott Pruitt is moving to restrict funding for environmental programs at the Department of Justice. (New York Times)

COMMENTARY:
• The defeat of a coal export terminal in Washington shows how major decisions can be made at the state level, says the director of the Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign. (Huffington Post)
• Recent natural disasters are an opportunity to improve – not just restore – the grid, says a writer for Slate.

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