U.S. Energy News

New Interior secretary is already under investigation

PUBLIC LANDS: A federal court strikes down a Trump administration rule that cut royalties paid to taxpayers for coal and petroleum extraction on public lands. (Reuters)

• Four days after being confirmed by the Senate, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt is under investigation for potential ethics violations involving conflicts of interest with former lobbying clients. (Associated Press)
• Presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren proposes a “total moratorium” on new fossil fuel leases on federal land. (CNBC)

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• The U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear two cases challenging state nuclear subsidies in New York and Illinois. (Utility Dive)
• Fossil fuel interests continued to hammer a proposed subsidy for nuclear power at a Pennsylvania legislative hearing. (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)
The first hearings for an Ohio bill that would collect millions of dollars from ratepayers across the state to subsidize two FirstEnergy nuclear plants, and possibly coal and gas plants as well, begin today in Columbus. (News-Herald, Energy News Network archive)

California breaks a record for clean energy exports and also achieves 93 percent zero-carbon electricity generation over the weekend. (PV Magazine)
Nevada’s largest utility surpasses the state’s renewable energy standard for its ninth year. (The Nevada Independent)

• Officials in a Virginia county approve the final permits for a 500 MW solar farm that would be the largest in the state, and among the largest in the U.S. (Virginia Mercury)
• Starbucks announces plans to power 360 of its Texas stores with solar energy  and to invest in six solar farms in the state. (Bloomberg)
A group of Minnesota credit unions unveils a new loan program designed specifically to finance residential solar projects. (Energy News Network)

WIND: Republican lawmakers in the Southeast attempt to undercut wind energy growth. (ThinkProgress)

• Indigenous leaders told members of a Congressional subcommittee at a hearing in New Mexico that more needs to be done to protect sacred sites throughout the West from the impacts of drilling. (Associated Press)
• Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis downplays the possibility of the Trump administration opening the coast up to offshore drilling. (Fox 35)
Mining and pipeline companies donate vehicles, gear and funding to local police departments, raising questions about conflicts of interest. (The Intercept)

• Illinois’ largest utilities are not on pace to meet ambitious goals for getting customers to upgrade to smart thermostats. (Energy News Network)
• A Pennsylvania utility says it will reduce its carbon emissions 70% between 2010 and 2050. (Pennsylvania Business Report)

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TRANSMISSION: Offshore wind transmission requires a longer planning horizon than is currently in place, industry experts say. (RTO Insider)

COMMENTARY: Energy Secretary Rick Perry “is treating Nevadans like the stuff he used to scrape off his boots in Texas” by pressing ahead with plans to open Yucca Mountain, says the editorial board of the Las Vegas Sun.

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