U.S. Energy News

Oakland City Council votes unanimously to ban coal shipments

COAL:
• Officials in Oakland, California vote unanimously to ban shipments of coal through a planned marine terminal in the city, effectively halting the export project and setting the stage for a legal battle. (San Francisco Chronicle)
• Utah counties interested in exporting coal mined there will continue to pursue export alternatives following the Oakland City Council vote. (Deseret News)
• Attorneys for imprisoned former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship file claims asserting his jury trial was biased and controlled by unfair rulings. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

RENEWABLES:
• President Obama and the leaders of Canada and Mexico are expected to unveil a plan for North America to get 50 percent of its electricity from “nonpolluting sources” by 2025. (National Public Radio)
• A clean energy group in Missouri is challenging utilities there over how they procure renewable energy to comply with the state’s renewable energy standard. (Midwest Energy News)
• The U.S. military has ongoing concerns about the development of renewable energy in Texas, citing wind turbines’ potential to disrupt radar signals and solar panels causing glare. (RTO Insider)

VOLKSWAGEN SCANDAL: The German automaker reaches a $14.7 billion settlement in the class action lawsuit stemming from its cheating on emissions tests. (Associated Press)

OIL AND GAS:
• While researchers find almost three times as much fresh groundwater in California than previously thought, the supplies are vulnerable due to the overlap of oil and gas activity. (Inside Climate News)
• The transition to a natural gas-powered generating fleet in the Northeast “shows no sign of abating.” (RTO Insider)
• Police report no injuries or fatalities from a large explosion at a BP gas plant in Mississippi. (Associated Press)
• A new federal study says the 2010 BP oil disaster cost the Gulf of Mexico’s commercial fishing industry upwards of $1.6 billion. (New Orleans Times-Picayune)
• The Securities and Exchange Commission finalizes rules requiring the industry to disclose more information about payments made to governments. (The Hill)

NUCLEAR: California land regulators are considering dropping longstanding environmental objections to the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant in return for its promised early closing. (Associated Press)

SOLAR:
• The growth of community solar in Minnesota is “bigger than anyone ever anticipated, and bigger things are coming.” (ClimateWire)
Five out of eight SolarCity board members have now recused themselves from voting on whether to merge with Tesla, and a two-member committee of SolarCity officials will evaluate the deal. (Bloomberg, Reuters)

GRID: Advocates continue to push for the creation of a Regional Transmission Organization for western states. (RTO Insider)

DIVESTMENT: The fossil fuel industry appears to be ramping up its campaign against divestment advocates. (ClimateWire)

CLIMATE:
• The unsuccessful attempt seven years ago to pass a federal cap-and-trade bill sowed the seeds for future climate change efforts. (E&E Daily) 
• The bankruptcy filings of coal companies are revealing numerous ties to climate denial groups. (Southern Alliance for Clean Energy)

UTILITIES: Florida-based NextEra Energy reportedly offers to buy Dallas retail electricity provider Oncor. (Bloomberg News)

COMMENTARY:
• Both the coal and newspaper industries have “experienced enormous disruptions from new entrants into their once-safe markets.” (Grand Junction Daily Sentinel)
• The International Energy Agency finally acknowledges in a new report the “explicit public-health risks” from burning fossil fuels. (Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis)
• The prospects for a favorable solar bill in New Jersey look bright. (Solar Energy Industries Association)

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