U.S. Energy News

Natural gas delivery leaks 80 billion cubic feet of methane annually, report says

METHANE:
• About 80 billion cubic feet of methane escapes into the air each year from the U.S. system delivering natural gas to power stations and consumers, according to new research. (InsideClimate News)
• The EPA is putting together a program to encourage the oil-and-gas industry to voluntarily reduce methane emissions. (The Hill)

EMISSIONS REDUCTIONS: The nation’s top 100 power plants reduced their collective carbon emissions 12 percent from 2008 to 2013, according to a report released Thursday. (Los Angeles Times)

CLEAN POWER PLAN:
• States can significantly lower electricity bills for consumers and businesses if they take the right steps in complying with the Clean Power Plan, a new report concludes. (The Hill)
• Despite dire warnings and harsh rhetoric, many states are already on track to meet their targets under the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, even before it’s even finalized. (The Washington Post)
To implement the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, Colorado officials are considering improving insulation at coal plants, shifting generation to natural-gas combined plants, using more renewable energy and conservation. (Associated Press)

SOLAR:
• A rural electric cooperative in Iowa has warned its 3,000 members that if they install solar panels or other distributed generation, they will pay what appears to be one of the highest monthly charges in the nation. (Midwest Energy News)
•San Francisco-based HydroRevolution will build the state’s first commercial solar-powered desalination plant to produce 1.6 billion gallons of water per year for California farmers. (ThinkProgress)

COAL: The coal industry’s lobbying expenditures continued to slide in the second quarter, despite the industry facing significant challenges on the federal level. (SNL.com)

EFFICIENCY: The federal government has fallen behind some of the climate goals President Obama set, including cutting the energy use per square foot in federal buildings 30 percent compared to 2005. (ClimateWire)

ARCTIC DRILLING: Environmental activists are furious that the Obama administration is allowing Shell to drill for oil in the Arctic this summer, even though safety conditions are attached. (OilPrice)

CLEAN BUSES: Buses that neither pollute nor draw on coal power are starting to appear on city streets, with support from Silicon Valley and a company backed by Warren Buffett. (Bloomberg)

TRANSITION: At this week’s Energy Thought Summit in Chicago, speakers noted that the country is shifting to distributed generation, clean energy and efficiency, but pushback and contradictions are expected to continue. (Midwest Energy News)

PRESIDENTIAL RACE: Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush says he would end all energy subsides, including those for fossil fuel, if he is elected president. (The Hill)

POLL: A majority of voters in the presidential-election swing states of Colorado, Iowa and Virginia agree with Pope Francis’ call to climate action, according to a university poll. (Bloomberg)

CLIMATE: Not a single Republican mayor attended the two-day climate change summit at the Vatican this week, though dozens of U.S. mayors of both parties allegedly were invited. (U.S. News & World Report)

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