U.S. Energy News

Nevada court rejects a net-metering referendum

SOLAR: The Nevada Supreme Court rejects a referendum that would have allowed voters to choose to revert net metering rates to pre-2016 levels, dealing a blow to solar industry supporters. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

ALSO:
• California-based Solar Mosaic Inc. raises $220 million to continue growing the rooftop solar loan market. (Reuters)
• Apple receives permission to begin selling excess energy generated at solar installations in Nevada, Arizona and California.  (SiliconBeat)
• Texas-based Revolve Solar Inc. files for bankruptcy, but the CEO says it will stay open and is doing “fine.” (Austin Business Journal)
• A Michigan company becomes the first rate-regulated utility in the state to reach its net metering cap. (Midwest Energy News)
• A national guidebook being developed to help state regulators settle differences between utilities and solar advocates over pricing “masks persisting disagreements between the two camps.” (Utility Dive)

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REGULATION:
• Early findings indicate that Oregon’s new law phasing out coal will not result in significant rate increases, as some opponents had predicted. (Portland Tribune)
• The chances of California passing climate measures before the end of the legislative session are slim, but the governor says voters could weigh in on the 2018 ballot. (Los Angeles Times)
• Many Republicans are critical of the Obama Administration’s new policy requiring federal agencies to consider emissions. (Christian Science Monitor)

POLLUTION: A Southern California air quality board takes an industry-friendly turn in a region where minority communities are disproportionately affected by pollution. (InsideClimate News)

BIOFUELS:
• The U.S. ethanol industry rushes to sell biofuel to Brazil as domestic prices hit three-month lows. (Reuters)
• An oil-refining group is petitioning the EPA to change the country’s biofuel mandate to make the program “far more equitable.” (Reuters)

COAL:
• Consol Energy agrees to pay $3 million to settle a claim that it illegally polluted streams in southwestern Pennsylvania. (Associated Press)
• A federal agency is paying $1 million to the National Academy of Sciences to study whether residents near surface coal mines in Central Appalachia face greater health risks. (Courier-Journal)
• After becoming the first utility in Texas to completely eliminate coal from its energy mix, El Paso Electric Co. faces criticism and praise from environmentalists. (EnergyWire)

NUCLEAR: The nuclear power industry’s Washington trade group is changing its leadership and consolidating positions in preparation for “a critical window” in 2017 and 2018. (The Hill)

OIL & GAS:
• Texas-based EOG Resources says it will boost fracking by 30 percent this year, claiming big returns on new wells. (Reuters)
• The California utility responsible for the 2015 Aliso Canyon gas leak says the incident cost them $717 million, which includes an after-tax refund to ratepayers. (L.A. Biz‎)
• A consumer advocacy group says oil refiners are intentionally keeping California’s gasoline prices high to bolster profits. (Los Angeles Times)

PIPELINES: Native American youths are running from North Dakota to Washington, D.C., to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline, which will transport crude oil to Illinois. (Indian Country Today)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Pilot projects are trying to increase the amount of renewable energy used to charge electric vehicles. (ClimateWire)

POLITICS: A Massachusetts congressional delegation tells a climate change skeptic in Congress to stop pressuring the state’s attorney general over her investigation into Exxon Mobil, calling it a “damaging and pointless exercise.” (Boston Globe) 

COMMENTARY:
Nuclear power is losing profitability due to fracking, not renewable energy. (ThinkProgress)
• Utilities are hurting the country’s growing solar industry with unnecessary rate hikes for customers. (Huffington Post)
• Tesla Motors’ proposed $2.6 billion takeover of SolarCity is hated by everyone except Tesla’s shareholders. (New York Times)
• If renewable energy is cost-competitive with conventional energy, why should the government continue to subsidize it? (Real Clear Energy)

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