U.S. Energy News

Most coal-producing states lost coal mining jobs in 2017

COAL:
• Nearly two-thirds of coal-producing states lost coal mining jobs in 2017, while West Virginia, Virginia and Pennsylvania saw modest gains. (Reuters)
• Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship, who was convicted for his role in a deadly 2010 coal mine explosion, launches his U.S. Senate campaign by telling a crowd in West Virginia that President Trump presents a real opportunity for jobs in the state. (Associated Press)

OIL & GAS:
• A Philadelphia utility says consumption of natural gas is hitting new records in the city’s suburbs due to unusually low temperatures. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
• U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat, says he will block three Interior Department nominees until his state is formally removed from the Trump administration’s offshore drilling expansion plan. (Platts)
• Virginia’s U.S. senators call for public hearings on offshore drilling plan. (Virginian-Pilot)

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PIPELINES: TransCanada says its Keystone XL pipeline is fully subscribed for potential shipments, though hurdles remain before construction can begin. (InsideClimate News)

SOLAR:
• Honolulu-based Hawaiian Electric saw a 19 percent increase in solar installations in 2017, making it the largest year-to-year increase since 2013. (Pacific Business News)
• A California company begins construction on the largest utility-scale solar project in Texas, which will total 236 megawatts of capacity. (Houston Chronicle)
• Solar trade case petitioners Suniva and SolarWorld send a letter to President Trump, saying they are “grateful to hear the President understands the seriousness of the problem” posed by cheap solar imports. (Portland Business Journal)
• Extreme weather events like fires and hurricanes reduced solar output by 5 percent or more during the third quarter of 2017, according to new research. (Greentech Media)
• A Louisiana rooftop solar company sees opportunity targeting low-income neighborhoods that other installers have avoided. (Bloomberg)
• With the completion of a 1.87 MW solar array, a small Iowa city moves closer to energy independence. (Midwest Energy News)
• California, Connecticut and Minnesota lead the country in funding commercial solar projects through Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing. (pv Magazine)

WIND:
• Nike signs a power-purchase agreement with Avangrid Renewables to buy 86 MW of power from a wind farm in Texas. (San Antonio Business Journal)
• New York regulators greenlight a project to build and operate a 126 MW wind farm in Chautauqua County. (Windpower Engineering & Development)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: New Hampshire and several other Northeast states are considering developing an electric vehicle charging station corridor that could stretch from Quebec to Washington, D.C. (New Hampshire Business Review)

NUCLEAR:
• A senior Westinghouse executive was reportedly demoted after raising concerns with a key contractor on South Carolina’s failed Summer nuclear project. (Post and Courier)
• NextEra and another Southeast utility, Louisiana-based Entergy, are cutting ties with the leading nuclear power trade group. (Southeast Energy News)

POLICY: Five senators unveil a legislative proposal to allow state oversight of oil and gas development on federal lands, which they say will address federal backlogs and eliminate permitting delays and duplicative regulations. (Deseret News)

POLITICS:
• Federal science advisory committee meetings have reached 20-year lows under the Trump administration, and fewer experts are serving on those committees, according to a new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists. (Grist)
• The impact of the Trump administration’s anti-regulatory environmental agenda is already being felt in communities across the country. (Los Angeles Times)

OVERSIGHT: Before federal regulators rejected a FirstEnergy plan to sell a West Virginia coal plant, a company lawyer attempted to communicate with a federal regulator on the decision. (Utility Dive)

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CLIMATE: U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, a Republican from south Florida, has emerged as one of his party’s most vocal advocates for climate action. (Yale Environment 360)

COMMENTARY:
• Appalachians understand that the coal industry isn’t coming back, but the Trump administration is making it hard for them to move on, says a writer for Nexus Media.
• New York needs to develop a clean energy kit to solve its power problem, says a transmission and microgrid executive. (Crain’s New York Business)

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