U.S. Energy News

Obama vetoes GOP attempts to thwart Clean Power Plan

CLEAN POWER PLAN: As expected, President Obama vetoes congressional Republicans’ attempts to overturn key pillars of the Clean Power Plan. (The Hill)

ALSO: States in the Pacific Northwest will clear emissions targets under the federal rules “with relatively little effort.” A great deal of that will come from energy efficiency. (EnergyWire, Associated Press)

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RENEWABLE TAX CREDITS:
• One analysis says extending federal tax credits for wind and solar “will do far more to reduce carbon dioxide emissions over the next five years than lifting the (crude oil) export ban will do to increase them.” (Council on Foreign Relations)
Another analysis suggests extending the solar credit could increase utility efforts to limit net metering and capture the market themselves. (PV Magazine)
The “boom times are back” for the U.S. wind industry. (NPR)

WIND: A new startup looks to apply the rooftop solar model to advance small-scale wind development. (New York Times)

EFFICIENCY:
• A growing movement to switch to LED lighting is saving sports facilities millions in energy costs. (Forbes)
The Department of Energy announces its largest efficiency standard to date, this time for commercial furnaces and rooftop air conditioners. (Greentech Media)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Nevada lawmakers overwhelming approve a $335 million tax incentive package to lure a “secretive” upstart electric vehicle manufacturer. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR:
• California’s lieutenant governor orders an extensive environmental review of the state’s last operational nuclear power plant. (Reuters)
Meanwhile, investors and scientists are exploring the potential for small-scale nuclear plants in California. (Tribune News Service)

CLIMATE: Enacting the targets in the Paris climate deal “will almost certainly require substantial new government regulations.” (New York Times)

EMISSIONS: Mercedes and BMW are rejecting allegations that they engaged in similar cheating on emissions testing as Volkswagen. (Grist)

FRACKING: More complete information about the naturally occurring water in shale formations could help operators protect equipment as well as lead to safer disposal options. (Midwest Energy News)

OIL BY RAIL:
• As trains have gotten longer, heavier and started carrying more crude oil, the number of rail inspectors has stayed the same. (Columbus Dispatch)
Much of the information contained in reports about oil train accidents is kept from the public. (Columbus Dispatch)
An analysis of federal records shows most railway incidents can be blamed on track defects and human error. (Columbus Dispatch)

SECURITY: Cyberattackers have been sneaking into the vulnerable U.S. power grid for years. (Associated Press)

OIL AND GAS:
• An Oklahoma judge rejects two energy companies’ request to dismiss a lawsuit alleging injuries from an earthquake related to oil and gas drilling. (Associated Press)
• A new report says oil and gas companies rarely disclose detailed information on emissions to investors. (ClimateWire)
Compounds added to detect methane leaks from oil and gas pipelines are leading to health concerns. (Los Angeles Times)

SOLAR:
• Massachusetts officials sign off on $30 million for a statewide loan program making it easier for residents to install panels at their homes. (Boston Globe)
 The “soft costs” of permitting, financing and installing solar projects is an ongoing challenge for the industry’s growth. (ClimateWire)

RELIABILITY: A federal regulatory authority says reserve margins for utilities will be sufficient over the next five years, but they are trending downward. (Utility Dive)

COAL: The $1.1 trillion federal spending bill includes $30 million to redevelop abandoned coal mines in Kentucky and is part of a $90 million pilot to aid coal communities in Kentucky, West Virginia and elsewhere. (Lexington Herald-Leader)

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OFFSHORE DRILLING: A revolt is building from Virginia to Florida against drilling offshore, which at one point seemed inevitable. (The Washington Post)

COMMENTARY: Breaking down the media coverage of the Paris climate talks and how the results were framed within a larger context. (Dot Earth Blog)

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