U.S. Energy News

New York sues Exxon Mobil for downplaying climate risks

OIL & GAS: New York’s attorney general sues Exxon Mobil, saying the company defrauded shareholders by downplaying the risks of climate change. (New York Times)

ALSO:
In a major blow to conservationists, federal regulators approve a plan to drill the first oil wells off the coast of Alaska. (Associated Press)
• A science academy is using money from the BP oil spill settlement to provide climate change curriculum in Gulf Coast communities. (Scientific American)

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POLITICS:
• A contentious U.S. House race in West Virginia has become a coal industry proxy war, pitting executives against mine workers. (The Intercept)
• Democratic candidates for governor and White House hopefuls are going all-in on clean energy, calling for a total phaseout of coal and oil. (Politico)
Pennsylvania is the nation’s third-largest carbon emitter, but the state’s gubernatorial candidates aren’t making climate change a priority. (WESA)

COAL:
• Injury rates have more than doubled at five West Virginia coal mines acquired by Murray energy in 2013, according to federal data. (Reuters)
• Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hints there’s a plan to keep the federal Black Lung Disability Trust Fund from sliding further into debt. (WFPL)
• A Minnesota utility faces criticism from clean energy groups for its long-term integrated resource plan that doesn’t phase out a large coal plant in North Dakota. (Energy News Network)

COAL ASH:
• Duke Energy says it will extend water sample testing near last month’s coal ash spills “if data demonstrate it’s needed.” (Coastal Review Online)
• The top supervisor for a government contractor at the nation’s largest coal ash spill testifies he had no idea workers were told the toxic material was harmless. (Knoxville News Sentinel)

RENEWABLES: Environmental groups tell federal regulators that the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) is still essential to grow wind and solar projects, particularly in the Midwest and Southeast. (Utility Dive)

SOLAR:
• In Arizona, battle lines are drawn between the state’s largest utility and clean energy advocates over a ballot measure to increase renewable energy use. (The New Yorker)
• Former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen defends investments he made in a solar company after promoting solar-friendly policies. (Tennessean)
• Universities in six Midwest states receive federal grant funding for solar initiatives and boosting the solar workforce. (Utility Dive)

WIND:
• NextEra says the price of wind power will continue to fall and will remain competitive even after federal tax credits fall off. (Utility Dive)
• With a federal tax credit set to expire next year, developers in California consider replacing aging wind turbines. (Palm Springs Desert Sun)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Oil companies seek to block utilities from investing ratepayer dollars into electric car charging stations. (E&E News, subscription)

TRANSPORTATION: California’s attorney general calls the Trump administration’s decision to freeze fuel economy standards “unlawful” as the state prepares to file its formal opposition to the plan. (Bloomberg)

PIPELINES: A group of landowners whose property was taken through eminent domain for the Mountain Valley Pipeline appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. (Roanoke Times)

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EFFICIENCY: Ski resorts in Vermont are cutting emissions by switching from diesel-powered snow machines to electric versions. (NECN)

COMMENTARY:
Pennsylvania lawmakers should act to keep the Three Mile Island nuclear plant open because its closure would devastate the local community, says a member of the Clean Jobs for Pennsylvania coalition. (Press & Journal)
A University of Michigan researcher says few wind-rich states in the Midwest and Great Plains are using climate policies to boost renewable energy growth. (The Conversation)

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