U.S. Energy News

Oil industry sends mixed messages on climate change

OIL & GAS: Under fire from climate activists and investors, oil company executives say they are serious about climate change but present plans that seem mostly intended to further reliance on fossil fuels. (New York Times) 

PIPELINES:
• Michigan’s attorney general sides with environmental groups in an appeal claiming improper self-dealing by a utility whose planned gas plant will be a major customer of a pipeline that an affiliate co-owns. (Energy News Network)
• A federal agency today will discuss and vote on the final report on a fatal gas pipeline explosion in Massachusetts a year ago. (WCVB)

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SOLAR:
• New filings in a long-running lawsuit allege Elon Musk misled Tesla shareholders by failing to disclose that SolarCity was nearly insolvent when Tesla acquired it for $2.6 billion. (Los Angeles Times)
• U.S. farmers squeezed by low crop prices are installing solar panels as a way to increase revenue. (Wall Street Journal, subscription)
• A proposal to expand solar in Massachusetts would reduce incentives to build projects on greenfield sites. (Energy News Network)

WIND:
A new Oregon university study says a Pacific Northwest bat is under threat from wind turbines when migrating south for the winter. (Associated Press)
Dominion Energy raises questions with an announcement that it will build the nation’s largest offshore wind farm in a state with no wind portfolio. (Virginia Mercury)
Wyoming lawmakers are considering a new tax on electricity generation, which could impact plans for a massive wind-energy buildout in the state. (Casper Star-Tribune)

GRID:
• The California Independent System Operator plans to develop a stakeholder process to create a regional day-ahead market for renewables. (Utility Dive)
• Utilities and distributed energy resource providers are becoming collaborators in the Northeast as they seek to shave peak loads. (Utility Dive)

NUCLEAR: Nuclear power is too slow and too expensive to be an effective tool against climate change, according to an international industry report. (Reuters)

CLIMATE:
• Maine Gov. Janet Mills addresses the United Nations General Assembly and says the state will become carbon neutral by 2045. (Associated Press)
• Activists shut down several Washington D.C. intersections during the Monday morning commute to draw attention to climate change. (WBAL)

TRANSMISSION:
• Florida regulators will consider proposed rules to expand underground power lines, but it could raise power bills. (Orlando Weekly)
Opponents of a planned transmission line in southwestern Wisconsin claim two state regulators who voted to support the project have conflicts of interest. (Wisconsin State Journal)

COAL:
• Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has spent years propping up the coal industry, but now some miners blame him for not supporting black lung benefits, pensions, or economic development in the region. (InsideClimate News)
Communities often struggle to repurpose retired coal power plants, with a few novel success stories but many sitting vacant. (Yale Climate Connections)

UTILITIES: Xcel Energy’s long-term energy plan gets mixed reviews from advocates who support the utility’s phase-out of coal but raise concerns about reliance on natural gas. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

TRANSPORTATION: The Trump administration threatens to cut federal highway funds to California, saying the state has failed to submit complete reports on Clean Air Act compliance. (Sacramento Bee)

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OHIO: Supporters of Ohio’s bailout for nuclear and coal plants begin circulating their own petitions to show public support for the measure, which opponents say is a ploy to confuse voters as they seek to hold a referendum on the law. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

COMMENTARY:
• Switching to electric vehicles en masse could bring down carbon emissions, but Americans also need to drive less, right now, a writer says. (CityLab)
• Energy efficiency and demand flexibility are helping to make clean energy cost-competitive with new gas power plants, a policy advocate writes. (ACEEE).
• A climate activist who disrupted traffic in a Washington D.C. protest says fighting climate change demands radical action from ordinary citizens who are not accustomed to taking them. (Washington Post)

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