U.S. Energy News

New rules require large trucks to cut emissions by 25 percent

EMISSIONS: New federal rules require heavy duty trucks to reduce emissions by 25 percent – a move that will cut 1.1 billion metric tons of carbon emissions through 2027. (New York Times)

CLIMATE:
• A California assemblyman who is investigating the spending of money generated from the state’s climate change program was assisted by a leading oil industry lobbyist, who personally wrote the assemblyman’s audit request. (Los Angeles Times)
• Advocates debate whether existing technologies can help solve climate change problems or whether a major “breakthrough” is necessary. (ClimateWire)

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SOLAR:
• Solar advocates say a Colorado utility’s decision to move to time-of-use rates for solar customers could be a model for the rest of the country. (Greentech Media)
• A Massachusetts technology firm develops a “3-D” wafer that slashes the cost of silicon-based photovoltaics by reducing the amount of silicon needed for production. (Greentech Media)
• California residents criticize a local elementary school for installing “ugly” solar arrays. (Mercury News)
• Community solar projects are increasingly accessible for more residents, including renters and apartment dwellers. (Bloomberg)

MICROGRIDS: The rise of microgrid technology in Illinois shows parallels to the recent evolution in telecommunications. (Midwest Energy News)

COAL:
• A leading U.S. coal regulator plans to toughen “out-of-date” self-bonding rules for guaranteeing mine cleanups. (Reuters)
• Montana lawmakers propose bills that would impose millions of dollars in fees for shutting down a coal plant. (Associated Press)

OIL & GAS:
• A worker whose face was set “ablaze” in an explosion at a crude oil terminal in Texas is filing a $10 million lawsuit against Sunoco and Carber Holdings, saying the companies caused the explosion. (Southeast Texas Record)
• Texas-based ConocoPhillips is enjoying better-than-expected success in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve, which recently began producing its first commercial oil. (Alaska Dispatch News)
• Duke Energy plans to modify two coal-fired plants in North Carolina to allow them to burn natural gas as well as coal. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• Hawaii’s governor says liquid natural gas “does not have a future for electrical power generation” and is a “distraction” from renewable energy goals. (Pacific Business News)

POLLUTION: The U.S. Coast Guard is responding to an 840-gallon crude oil spill at the southern end of the Mississippi River, which has been blamed on a Texas-based oil company. (Times-Picayune)

PIPELINES:
• Hundreds of tribal members and protesters have temporarily stopped construction on part of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which is slated to run from North Dakota to Illinois. (Bismarck Tribune)
• A pipeline company in Alaska discovers a third oil spill caused by an over-pressurized fill line. (Alaska Dispatch News)
• Royal Dutch Shell is planning to build a 94-mile pipeline to carry ethane in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio. (Pittsburgh Business Times)

UTILITIES: The Montana Public Service Commission votes to stop a regional utility from increasing rates to replenish $8.2 million in expenses related to a power plant outage in 2013. (Billings Gazette)

TRANSPORTATION: California transportation officials have selected 14 public transit projects to receive almost $391 million of proceeds from the state’s auction of greenhouse gas pollution credits. (Los Angeles Times)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Elon Musk’s projections and goals for Tesla routinely fall short, contradicting claims that he doesn’t set unrealistic targets. (Wall Street Journal)

COMMENTARY: New technologies and incentives are nudging net-zero energy buildings into the mainstream. (GreenBiz)

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