U.S. Energy News

Oil companies increase flaring, despite pledges to cut back

OIL & GAS: Oil and gas companies claim progress in curbing gas flaring, but data shows significant increases in flaring and venting of natural gas and greenhouse gases. (New York Times)

ALSO: A New York utility ordered to lift a moratorium on new gas hookups now has a backup plan to deliver compressed natural gas by truck. (Bloomberg)

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CALIFORNIA: Southern California Edison warns it may shut off electricity to more than 32,400 homes and businesses today and tomorrow. (Los Angeles Times)

FINANCE: A federal green bank proposed in Congress is based in part on successful state projects in New York and Connecticut. (Energy News Network)

ELECTRIFICATION: An all-electric housing project in Colorado offers a prototype for low-carbon housing as the state looks to reduce emissions from the residential and commercial buildings sectors. (Energy News Network)

PUBLIC LANDS: A federal judge halts the Trump administration’s sage grouse plan, saying the administration’s amendments appear to be “contrary to the science” contained in reports from experts. (Bloomberg)

PIPELINES:
• U.S. Rep. Fred Upton introduces legislation to continue funding for the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration as a partisan dispute has stalled the agency’s reauthorization. (E&E News, subscription, Bloomberg)
• Federal regulators order all construction on the Mountain Valley Pipeline to stop except for stabilization and restoration work. (Virginia Mercury)

BIOFUELS:
• “No more Iowa Nice,” a farmer says as biofuel and agriculture advocates urge the U.S. EPA to follow a deal on blending requirements. (Radio Iowa)
• The U.S. EPA announcement on the updated policy proposal was changed to remove positive quotes from Iowa’s two senators that had been used in a prior release. (The Hill)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Utilities are stepping in to help cities prepare to electrify transportation and move projects more quickly. (Utility Dive)
• Ford plans a “Mustang-inspired” electric SUV that will have access to 12,000 charging stations where owners will get free charging for two years. (CNET)
• Electric vehicle startup Rivian gives residents a first look at the trucks it will manufacture at a refurbished auto plant in downstate Illinois. (Chicago Tribune)
• A Madison, Wisconsin, taxi company is poised to become the nation’s first with an all-electric fleet. (Wisconsin State Journal)

SOLAR:
• A solar industry group solicited campaign contributions for a North Carolina Republican legislator after he took action on a bill the group opposed. (WBTV)
• Illinois solar companies report strong growth in the wake of an ambitious energy bill becoming law, but the state is far from being on track to meet a 25% renewable portfolio standard by 2025. (Climate Central)
• South Carolina utility regulators hear arguments over how it should interpret a new law designed to boost solar competition. (E&E News, subscription)

COAL:
• Former EPA administrator Gina McCarthy predicts that the Trump administration’s attempt to repeal federal mercury rules will ultimately fail in the courts. (E&E News, subscription)
Lessons from Germany’s former coal mining region could help Appalachia restore the environment and transition to a new economy. (Southerly, Scalawag, EHN)
• Coal executive Robert Murray and his company’s employees contributed more than $360,000 to help reelect President Trump and other Republicans during the last reporting period. (E&E News, subscription)
• West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin and other senators join miners in demanding Congress take action to protect miners’ pension and healthcare. (WDTV)
A western Missouri coal plant that closed last year is part of a larger debate about whether utility customers should pay for operating costs as if the plant was still running. (E&E News, subscription)

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ACTIVISM:
Latino activists say they want a greater voice in Colorado’s climate change discussion. (Westword)
• Students and activists push for Houston to become the “energy capital of the world” by using renewables, not oil and gas. (Texas Standard)

COMMENTARY:
An advertisement by the American Petroleum Institute uses misinformation to sell natural gas as a climate solution, a fact-checker finds. (DeSmog)
A clean energy attorney says state attorneys general are preparing for a fight with federal regulators who are expected to undercut policies that promote clean energy at the state level. (The Hill)
In the first part of a series, David Roberts says California’s deliberate power outages last week were outrageous and harmful and analyzes the roots and adverse implications of the state’s energy crisis. (Vox)

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