U.S. Energy News

McConnell asks all U.S. governors to push back in ‘war on coal’

EPA: On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-Kentucky) sent a letter asking every governor in the U.S. to refuse to comply with EPA limits on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. (The New York Times)

FRACKING:
• The Obama administration is set to issue the first major federal regulations on hydraulic fracturing on Friday, with new mandates targeting oil and gas wells on public lands. (Fuel Fix)
• A federal appellate court upheld dismissal of a lawsuit filed by a Dallas physician challenging a law that precluded him from releasing information he obtained on chemicals used in fracking. (The Scranton Times-Tribune)

EMISSIONS: President Obama ordered the federal government to cut its greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 2008 levels by 2025 and to obtain at least 30 percent of its electricity from renewable sources. (InsideClimate News)

TRANSMISSION: As coal-fired power plants go offline under the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, building new power lines to transmit renewable energy could spur $1.5 billion to $2.5 billion in investment over the next five years. (Greenwire)

SOLAR:
• The Clean Energy Collective and Morgan Stanley subsidiary MS Solar Solutions have agreed to spur growth of community-shared solar across Massachusetts. (PV Tech)
• San Francisco-based home-solar provider Sunrun has hired a new chief financial office as it prepares to issue an IPO later this year. (Silicon Valley Business Journal)

COAL: U.S. coal companies that are publicly skeptical of man-made climate change acknowledge in mandatory financial disclosures the widely accepted scientific link between fossil fuel emissions and a warming planet. (Greenwire)

OIL:
A new report says there is plenty of room to make oil less costly to the climate while alternatives to oil are being developed. (Climate Central)
Fourteen cities and towns across California are trying to block trains carrying crude oil from passing through their communities. (Reuters)

KEYSTONE XL: The U.S. State Department is still reviewing TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline project, a White House senior adviser told reporters on Thursday. (Reuters)

DIVESTMENT:
• Some 37 students and six alumni occupied the finance and investment office of Pennsylvania’s Swarthmore College Thursday to demand that the university cut its ties to fossil fuels. (Guardian)
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation held at least $1.4 billion of investments in fossil fuel companies, according to analysis of its 2013 tax filings. (Guardian)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has signed a bill allowing Tesla to sell its electric cars directly to consumers, handing the company a major victory over traditional dealerships that opposed the move. (The Washington Post)
• On Thursday, Elon Musk announced a software update will be introduced this summer to give Tesla’s Model S sedans the ability to start driving themselves. (The New York Times)
• A news study suggests increased use of electric vehicles might cool down warming cities because they emit just 19.8 percent of the heat from conventional vehicles. (CBS News)

COMMENTARY: Republican state Senator Troy Fraser has filed a bill that would eliminate Texas’ Renewable Portfolio Standard, which has catapulted Texas to world leadership in wind energy. (Renewable Energy World)

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