U.S. Energy News

Oil companies fought regulation while bracing for climate change

CALIFORNIA:
• A massive, ongoing methane leak from a natural gas storage field could go on for months while the long-term health effects are unknown. (InsideClimate News)
The problem appears to have been caused by the lack of a working safety valve. (Los Angeles Times)

CLIMATE CHANGE:
• Exxon Mobil’s strategy to brace for climate impacts as it fought regulations was a widespread practice across the oil industry in the 1990s and early 2000s. (Los Angeles Times)
Republicans are split on whether to attack science when opposing Democrats’ climate proposals. (The Hill)
The head of the United Nations credits President George W. Bush with kick-starting global climate talks that led to a landmark agreement in Paris. (The Hill)
A slate of President Obama’s climate policies will face legal challenges in 2016. (The Hill)

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RENEWABLES: Despite a surplus of cheap fossil fuels, the wind and solar industries are on track for a record-breaking year in 2016. (Washington Post)

UTILITIES: A United Nations official envisions a future where utilities only charge customers to recoup capital costs and not for electricity because the dominance of renewables will not have fuel costs. (Forbes)

EFFICIENCY:
• The marijuana industry is moving aggressively, particularly in states where it has been legalized, to reduce energy consumption. (Al Jazeera America)
 A large group of ratepayers — including public housing residents and low-income individuals — in Illinois still find it difficult to participate in various efficiency programs. (Midwest Energy News)

FORECASTING: Maine regulators are refusing to release year-old energy price forecasts that are at the center of allegations that the regulatory commission improperly scuttled a wind power contract. (Portland Press Herald)

DEREGULATION: A growing number of electric customers in Texas are exploring alternative suppliers. (Dallas Morning News)

TRANSMISSION:
• New York regulators approve funding for transmission upgrades to move electricity better from upstate to demand centers. (Utility Dive)
• Ratepayers across the Midwest will be reimbursed after consumer advocates successfully challenged excessive profits by transmission companies for delivering electricity. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

SOLAR: Utilities in California and Georgia show a vastly different approach to the rise in customers who generate their own solar power. (NPR)

EMISSIONS:
• A judge sets July 19 for the start of a trial for a dispute over EPA estimates of job losses related to new emission regulations. (Associated Press)
• A congressman from California introduces legislation for a national price on carbon emissions from coal, oil and natural gas. (Utility Dive)

DEMAND RESPONSE: Federal regulators say advanced metering technology continues to spread but reductions in energy use are mixed. (Utility Dive)

COAL:
• The number of coal-mining deaths nationwide continues to decline amid industry layoffs and idled operations. (Associated Press)
• 120 coal-fired power plants are either closed, cancelled or set for closure by 2020 in six Southeast states. (Southern Environmental Law Center)

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OFFSHORE DRILLING: Activists and oil drillers await the Obama administration’s decision whether to open the Atlantic Coast to lease sales from 2017 to 2022 and any restrictions. (The Hill)

COMMENTARY:
• While moving aggressively to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the methane leak in California “underscores how far we have to go on oversight.” (Sacramento Bee)
• “Giving up the crude oil export ban in favor of renewable energy subsidies was a smart concession for Democrats to make.” (Grist)

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