Northeast Energy News

Massachusetts utility scrambles to inspect hundreds of gas lines

PIPELINES: Faced with daily fines of $1 million, Columbia Gas vows to inspect 713 natural gas service lines by a Friday deadline set by Massachusetts regulators. (Eagle-Tribune)

OIL & GAS: About a dozen groups interested in buying a closed and bankrupt Philadelphia refinery damaged by a June explosion will tour the facility in preparation to making bids to reopen or repurpose it. (Reuters)

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UTILITIES:
• Media reports say PPL and Avangrid are in merger talks that could create one of the largest utilities in the United States. (Morning Call)
Rhode Island regulators pass a rule that give financially strapped utility customers up to 36 months to pay bills if they fall behind. (ecoRI)

SOLAR:
• New Jersey solar developers frustrated by a regulatory proceeding to cap incentives will take their case to the legislature next year to amend a law they say will cripple the industry. (NJ Spotlight)
• Schools in a Maine city want to get most of their energy from solar and seek proposals from developers as on-site projects were found to be too expensive. (Portland Press Herald)

TRANSPORTATION:
• New York offers $3 million in grants to local governments to install clean energy vehicle stations and rebates for clean vehicle purchases. (Associated Press)
• A Connecticut town installs its first electric vehicle charging station as part of a larger effort to gain state certification as a sustainable community. (Journal Inquirer)

POWER PLANTS: A vote on a 1,000 MW power plant outside Pittsburgh is again delayed as environmental regulators review a modified plan and local officials grapple with conflict-of-interest issues. (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

RENEWABLE ENERGY: Cornell University researchers win a federal grant to study the effects of placing wind and solar projects on arable farmland on energy prices, food production and climate. (Cornell Chronicle)

COMMENTARY:
• A policy analyst says biomass is falsely promoted as clean and sustainable while it emits pollutants and is not carbon-neutral. (New York Review of Books)
• An editorial board says Pennsylvania should follow the lead of neighboring states and increase incentives for solar power. (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)
• A conservation organization says New Jersey slightly improved its rank in a national energy efficiency survey but there are several more actions the state could take. (The Central Record)

 

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