U.S. Energy News

New Jersey raises renewable target and grants nuclear subsidies

NEW JERSEY: Gov. Phil Murphy signs bills raising the state’s renewable energy standard to 50 percent and providing zero-emission credits for nuclear power plants. (RTO Insider)

WIND:
Massachusetts and Rhode Island announce procurement deals for offshore wind farms totalling 1.2 GW of new capacity. (CommonWealth Magazine, Providence Journal)
The projects represent a major leap forward for the U.S. in offshore wind, a technology that is mainstream in Europe. (New York Times)
North Carolina wind power hangs in the balance as lawmakers prepare to debate the extension of a wind power moratorium. (InsideClimate News)

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SOLAR:
• Minnesota regulators consider an incentive payment to ease the transition into lower rates of return expected for community solar customers. (Midwest Energy News)
• The CEO of Nevada’s largest electric utility says a clean energy initiative would upend net metering, dramatically increasing rooftop solar customers’ bills. (Nevada Appeal)

BIOFUEL:
U.S. oil refiner Marathon Petroleum asks the EPA to exempt one of its facilities from federal biofuels rules, according to two sources. (Reuters)
Sources say Trump administration officials will meet today to discuss planned changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard. (Reuters)

OIL & GAS:
ExxonMobil announces a plan to cut its methane emissions 15 percent by 2020. (Reuters)
Sources say China will import record amounts of oil from the United States as part of an effort to avert a trade war between the two countries. (Reuters)
A major oil spill would threaten 23 national parks and monuments in the Southeast, according to U.S. National Park Service data compiled by conservation groups. (Southeast Energy News)
• Oklahoma oil and gas regulators order companies to reduce wastewater injections or cease operations entirely in a heavily drilled part of the state recently rocked by earthquakes. (Associated Press)

UTILITIES:
• Utility companies are working on innovative projects to help them meet power needs through distributed resources and efficiency instead of transmission lines. (Utility Dive)
• Xcel Energy has reduced carbon emissions by 35 percent since 2005, mostly by closing aging coal plants, an internal report shows. (Denver Post)

GRID: PJM’s capacity auction yesterday resulted in higher prices for generators, but fewer nuclear plants cleared the auction — possibly because operators are avoiding long-term commitments. (Bloomberg, Utility Dive)

POLITICS: Senate Democrats hold a press conference at an Exxon filling station on Capitol Hill to draw attention to high gas prices linked to President Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. (The Hill)

EPA: Members of the EPA’s Science Advisory Board want to examine the scientific basis behind a number of proposed regulatory rollbacks, including weakening of auto efficiency standards and scrapping the Clean Power Plan, at an upcoming meeting. (InsideClimate News)

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CLIMATE:
The Trump administration considered ignoring federal scientists’ data about the effects of man-made climate change, according to an internal memo. (Washington Post)
Major charitable foundations fund renewables and energy efficiency as a means to combat climate change, but ignore options like nuclear power, carbon capture and geoengineering, according to a new study. (Grist)

COMMENTARY:
If EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is fired, President Trump is likely to replace him with someone equally committed to dismantling the agency, according to three researchers. (Washington Post)
Young conservative voters are increasingly concerned about environmental issues like climate change, and businesses should be paying attention, says a conservative political consultant. (Vox)

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