U.S. Energy News

Nevada lawmakers approve pro-solar and wind legislation

POLICY: Lawmakers in Nevada approve energy bills to incentivize solar energy storage and make it easier for residents to install wind turbines. (Las Vegas Sun)

CLIMATE:
• Pope Francis presents President Trump with a papal letter on preserving the environment, while the Vatican’s secretary of state urges him not to withdraw from the Paris climate accord. (New York Times)
• California’s governor says he now believes President Trump will stay in the Paris climate agreement and that progress under his administration may not be “as disastrous as we thought.” (Politico)

CAP-AND-TRADE: Nearly all of California’s cap-and-trade permits were purchased in its latest auction, generating an estimated $500 million in revenue. (Los Angeles Times)

CLEAN ENERGY: States are creating their own clean power plans with policies to limit carbon emissions, lower pollution and increase renewables. (Fast Company)

CARBON CAPTURE: A 25-megawatt natural gas plant in Texas will store carbon dioxide instead of emitting it. (Science)

NUCLEAR:
• Exelon nuclear plants in Illinois and Pennsylvania did not clear the latest PJM capacity auction, spelling more trouble for the industry. (Quad City Times)
• Southern Co.’s CEO tells shareholders it may take until summer to determine whether to continue the nuclear project at the Vogtle plant in Georgia. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
• 
Westinghouse locks out union members at its New Hampshire manufacturing facility. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

SOLAR: A new report shows an industry-wide trend toward more complex net metering and rate design. (Utility Drive)

WIND: An Iowa researcher says his design for concrete wind towers passed stress tests and will be viable for turbines up to 460 feet tall; more information on the technology here. (news release, Midwest Energy News archive)

TRANSPORTATION: The Federal Transit Administration agrees to fully fund a $650 million grant to electrify a train system that serves the San Francisco Bay area. (CBS SF/AP)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• As part of a plan to expand EV charging stations, an Ohio utility is partnering with Nissan to offer a $10,000 discount on the 2017 Nissan Leaf. (Columbus Business First)
• A new report finds that Tesla’s workers have been injured at significantly higher rates than the rest of the auto industry, but the company says it now has “the lowest injury rate in the industry by far.” (Reuters)
• The climate benefits of electric vehicles are improving as the grid becomes cleaner. (Climate Central)

OIL & GAS:
• An oil company owned by White House adviser Carl Icahn saved $60 million in the first quarter of the year as a result of policies he supported. (The Hill)
• Dozens of gas-fired power plants are being constructed in the U.S., but there isn’t enough electricity demand to support the new capacity. (Bloomberg)

PIPELINES:
• How one Nebraska tribe is fighting to protect their land from the Keystone XL pipeline. (Des Moines Register)
• Two Houston-based companies announce plans to build a $170 million natural gas pipeline between New Mexico and Texas. (Houston Business Journal)

COAL: Environmental activists, including some former coal workers, continue to fight mountaintop removal mining in West Virginia. (E&E News)

UTILITIES: Utilities are testing new tactics to stop customers from leaving demand response programs as they try to keep costs down. (Utility Dive)

POLITICS: The three Democratic candidates for Virginia’s lieutenant governor said they will not take campaign contributions from Dominion Energy. (Washington Post)

COMMENTARY:
• Ten reasons why Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s “baseload” study is “a transparent attempt to prop up coal and nuclear power.” (Grist) (Vox)
• With a surge in domestic shale oil improving energy security, the country’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve may have outlived its usefulness, says a chemical engineer who works in the energy industry. (Forbes)

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