U.S. Energy News

Moniz rejects ‘war on coal’ rhetoric

COAL: Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz says the Obama administration is working to maintain coal use in the U.S. and supports the passage of tax credits to help power plants burn coal more cleanly. (Associated Press)

ALSO:
• Missouri-based Arch Coal agrees to stop using “self-bonds” and will set aside funds for future mine cleanup costs as part of its bankruptcy reorganization plan, according to a court filing. (Reuters)
• An Illinois coal plant that has been operating a boiler for years without an updated permit required under the Clean Air Act is emblematic of the state’s dysfunctional air permit system, advocates say. (Midwest Energy News)
• A report finds a Texas utility’s part-ownership of a coal plant may be costing it $10 million a year. (Austin American-Statesman)

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OIL & GAS:
• More than 30 oil and gas wastewater disposal wells in Oklahoma are being shut down by regulators due to their proximity to a newly discovered fault line. (Associated Press)
• The number of BP jobs in Alaska has dropped from 24,200 to 16,200, while the company’s tax payments have plummeted, according to recent reports. (Alaska Dispatch News)
• Banks and bond investors have recovered an average of about $1 for every $5 they invested into U.S. oil companies that went bankrupt in 2015, which “can only be described as catastrophic,” according to a top credit rating agency. (Fuel Fix)
• The oil field equipment and services company National Oilwell Varco Inc. plans to cut 54  jobs in Houston as it consolidates locations. (Houston Business Journal)
• A new oil field in Alaska could produce more than 120,000 barrels a day. (Alaska Dispatch News)
• As a federal decision approaches on whether to allow drilling in the U.S. Arctic, a pro-drilling coalition says it will run TV ads in the Washington, D.C., area to influence lawmakers. (Fuel Fix)

PIPELINES:
• Work has stopped on a small portion of the nearly 1,200-mile Dakota Access Pipeline, but what’s next for the stalled project? (Associated Press)
• A North Dakota board is investigating the use of dogs by private security guards at the Dakota Access Pipeline construction site, including whether the security personnel were properly licensed. (Forum News Service)
• A Michigan tribe is trying block a multi-million-dollar settlement between Canadian pipeline giant Enbridge and the EPA by using arguments similar to those successfully used against the Dakota Access Pipeline. (InsideClimate News)

NUCLEAR: A Nevada-based alternative energy company is bidding $38 million for an unfinished nuclear power plant in Alabama that cost $5 billion to build.(Associated Press)

UTILITIES: An Ohio utility plans to address concerns about smart meter cybersecurity with “annual verbal briefings.” (Columbus Business First)

SOLAR:
• An agreement is reached in Nevada to grandfather in solar customers under the state’s previous net meterinf rules. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
• Wildfires on the West Coast are hurting solar generation in the region due to smoke cover, according to one firm’s analysis. (PV-Tech)
• North Carolina holds second place in the U.S. for its total amount of installed solar, according to a new report. (Charlotte Business Journal)

WIND: Wind power in the U.S. is likely to keep getting cheaper, with prices falling through 2030, according to new research. (Greentech Media)

POLITICS: Legal scholars defend two state attorneys general and eight organizations who have refused to comply with Congressional subpoenas from Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith seeking information related to investigations of ExxonMobil. (InsideClimate News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• The forthcoming “hatchback for the masses” Chevrolet Bolt will have a range of 238 miles, higher than the baseline Tesla Model S. (Associated Press)
• A California start-up creates an all-electric bus that can operate for 18 hours – the same as a traditional diesel bus. (Business Insider)

COMMENTARY:
• The executive director of Vote Solar outlines five ways to resolve the contentious rooftop solar debate in Nevada. (Greentech Media)
• U.S. companies continuously discover vast stores of energy by successfully harnessing the latest technology, forging new industries and raising capitol. (Slate)

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