U.S. Energy News

Oil giant granted ‘financial hardship’ waiver on biofuels

BIOFUELS: The EPA granted Exxon Mobil, which reported earnings of almost $20 billion in 2017, a “financial hardship waiver” temporarily freeing its Montana refinery from biofuels blending requirements. (Reuters)

OIL & GAS:
• West Virginia law allows mineral rights owners do whatever is “reasonably necessary” to extract natural gas from the ground, disturbing many rural communities. (Charleston Gazette-Mail, ProPublica)
• The Trump administration miscalculated the damages from potential oil train derailments when it justified canceling an Obama-era rule requiring advanced braking systems on trains hauling explosive material. (Associated Press)
• A plan to drill in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge makes no economic sense, according to a new study by a conservation group. (Huffington Post)

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WIND:
Cape Cod’s largest environmental group announces support for an offshore wind farm, saying the urgency of addressing climate change outweighs other concerns. (Cape Cod Times)
• Offshore wind advocates say Dominion’s $300 million offshore wind farm experiment could lead to bigger, less expensive projects. (Energy News Network)

TRANSPORTATION:
Massachusetts will begin shrinking electric vehicle rebates in an effort to stretch program dollars further. (Energy News Network)
California regulators consider new rules to address how billions of dollars should be spent by utilities to build out electric vehicle charging networks. (Greentech Media)
• Clean energy advocates are “shocked and disappointed” that New York did not join a regional effort to cut carbon emissions from cars. (E&E News, subscription)

UTILITIES: Nebraska’s largest utility explores the potential for reusing carbon dioxide from power plants and other sources to make methanol, though questions about scale and emissions remain. (Energy News Network)

POWER PLANTS:
• Los Angeles considers spending billions to rebuild three aging gas plants even as the state pursues ambitious clean energy goals. (Los Angeles Times)
Amid steps forward on clean energy, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has remained quiet on a proposed new natural gas plant. (NorthJersey.com)

COAL:
Retired miners dying of black lung disease rally at Sen. Mitch McConnell’s office in London, Kentucky, asking him to extend the tax on coal companies that funds their medical benefits. (WKYT)
• New Mexico regulators approve a plan to shut down two coal-fired power plants in the northwestern part of the state and rely more on clean energy. (Santa Fe New Mexican)

COAL ASH: On the tenth anniversary of the nation’s largest coal ash spill, families of cleanup workers who died call on TVA and its contractor to pay for medical testing and treatment for those poisoned. (Knoxville News Sentinel)

NUCLEAR:
In a massive filing consisting of nearly 200 boxes of documents, a New Jersey utility files for $900 million in public subsidies to keep its nuclear units operating. (NJ Spotlight)
• Federal regulators propose fining Kansas’ only nuclear plant $232,000 over allegations of retaliation against an employee who reported a safety concern. (Associated Press)

RENEWABLES: Corporate renewable energy purchases and participants have doubled since 2015, according to a new report. (North American Windpower)

OFFSHORE DRILLING: South Carolina lawmakers plan to introduce a bill that would ban local and state governments from approving offshore drilling. (WCBD)

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POLITICS:
• Outgoing U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona says it’s time for Republicans to get serious about climate change as he and a Democratic colleague introduce a carbon pricing bill. (The Hill)
• Environmental groups formally request FERC Commissioner Bernard McNamee recuse himself from a pending grid resilience proceeding. (Utility Dive)

COMMENTARY:
Washington state residents deserve the same kind of bold leadership Xcel Energy is demonstrating with its recent commitment to go carbon-free by 2050, says a state and a national leader with Audubon. (Energy News Network)
• Advocates say the Midwest’s shift to clean energy already well underway is a positive step in addressing climate change. (Natural Resources Defense Council)

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