U.S. Energy News

Offshore drilling plans paused amid rising political stakes  

OFFSHORE DRILLING: The Trump administration backs off plans to expand offshore drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic after a recent ruling by a federal judge in Alaska. (New York Times)

ALSO: The offshore drilling plan had also emerged as a political liability for Trump in the Southeast ahead of the 2020 election. (ThinkProgress)

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OIL & GAS:
The Trump administration releases plans to reopen more than a million acres of public and private land in California to fracking. (Los Angeles Times)
Republican Congressman Scott Perry told a Pennsylvania audience that natural gas has been the “Green New Deal of the last 10 to 15 years.” (The Sentinel)
• The EPA has told two environmental organizations it will not update regulations for wastewater coming from oil and gas extraction. (DeSmog)
Alaska’s governor tells President Trump in a letter that “career employees” of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are trying to “undermine” efforts to open a national wildlife refuge to drilling. (Anchorage Daily News)

PIPELINES:
• Union Hill, Virginia, residents continue to pressure Gov. Ralph Northam to stop an Atlantic Coast Pipeline compressor station from being built in the predominantly black community. (The Nation)
• The Dakota Access pipeline’s developer bought dozens of website URLs in 2017 it feared opponents would use to discredit its projects. (Huffington Post)

COAL:
• Efforts to stop an Indiana utility from closing coal plants aren’t going the way the coal industry had hoped as economics point to more renewables. (InsideClimate News)
An Oregon utility could save its customers $248 million over 20 years if it closes four units at two Wyoming coal plants by 2022, according to new economic analysis. (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

SOLAR:
MidAmerican Energy, known for its commitment to wind power, is leading the effort in Iowa to dismantle solar net metering. (Associated Press)
• A North Carolina county approves plans to turn an abandoned golf course into a solar farm. (Gaston Gazette)
• Tesla’s residential solar business continued its rapid decline in the first quarter. (Buffalo Business First)

STORAGE: A Southern California utility taps several storage projects to serve a coastal city instead of a gas peaker plant it previously selected. (Greentech Media)

WIND: New research shows huge potential for offshore wind along the Mid-Atlantic coast, but a large transmission build-out would be needed. (RTO Insider)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• A study by a public-private partnership says a surge in electric vehicle sales is expected in the Northeast as 63% of Millennials say they are considering buying one. (NH Business Review)
Iowa regulators clarify that electric vehicle charging stations are not considered public utilities under state law, and therefore utilities can’t restrict how power is sold at them. (Utility Dive)

POLICY: The Minnesota House passes an omnibus energy bill calling for 100 percent carbon-free power production by 2050, though the bill faces an uncertain future in the Republican-held Senate. (PV Magazine)

UTILITIES:
• Wisconsin’s We Energies is the latest utility to leave a group that lobbied on behalf of coal-burning utilities against Obama-era air regulations. (Politico)
Green Mountain Power CEO Mary Powell outlines the utility’s plan to shift to 100% renewable energy by 2030. (VPR)

EFFICIENCY: Engineering experts discuss ways building owners can achieve net zero emissions through energy efficiency and renewables. (Energy News Network)

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POLITICS:
• South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham joins his Democratic counterparts in calling for action on climate change. (Dallas Business Journal, subscription)
Beto O’Rourke says he would be willing to consider a moratorium on drilling on federal lands to combat climate change if elected president. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY:
• An environmental group says a University of Chicago study that said renewable energy standards led to high compliance costs used out-of-date data that failed to capture the price declines over the past four years. (Natural Resources Defense Council)
Outdated policies and bureaucratic red tape make going solar nearly impossible in South Carolina, writes a Love’s Travel Stops executive. (Energy News Network)

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