U.S. Energy News

Oil industry stakes out its role in a changing climate

OIL & GAS: At a major energy conference in Houston, some oil and gas executives talked about climate change and clean energy, but others doubled down on the need for fossil fuels. (InsideClimate News)

ALSO: The Trump administration officially scraps protections for the endangered sage grouse, opening nearly 9 million acres to drilling and mining operations. (Washington Post)

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POLICY:
Virginia lawmakers approve a bill to support research for pumped-storage hydro and renewables in hopes of making the state’s coalfields an energy hotbed again. (Energy News Network)
• A broad proposal in Ohio to slash state regulations by 30 percent across the board could further tilt the playing field against renewable energy by relaxing rules on utilities and fossil fuels. (Energy News Network)
• Multiple Midwest governors join other states in setting strong emission-reduction goals. (Bloomberg)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• ComEd prepares to expand an electric vehicle ride-sharing pilot program as the utility researches how it can benefit the local grid. (Energy News Network)
• New York City analyzed vehicle costs and concludes electric cars are now the cheapest option for its fleet. (Quartz)

SOLAR:
• North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper intervened with Duke Energy on behalf of a solar company that had paid him rent and considered the dispute resolution a “possible Atlantic Coast Pipeline mitigation option,” records show. (The State)
• Arkansas passes a bipartisan bill that allows third-party financing for solar in the state, which is seen as a huge boost for the industry. (Utility Dive)

PIPELINES: A federal appeals court will not allow construction to begin on the Keystone XL pipeline as an environmental review is evaluated. (E&E News, subscription)

NUCLEAR:
Dominion Energy says it’s reached a 10-year agreement with Connecticut utilities to keep the Millstone nuclear plant operating after threatening to close it. (CT Mirror)
A Nebraska nuclear plant along the Missouri River prepares for potential flooding after a powerful winter storm. (Reuters)

COAL:
Wyoming’s governor vetoes a bill that would have authorized the state to sue Washington over its rejection of a proposed coal export terminal, saying the state should have “a coherent approach” to the issue. (Associated Press)
• Former coal baron Don Blankenship sues several news outlets and media personalities, claiming he was defamed during his failed bid in his campaign for Senate in West Virginia. (WVPB)

NATURAL GAS: U.S. natural gas production hit record levels in 2018, with more than a quarter of output coming from the Appalachian region. (Pittsburgh Business Journal)

TRANSMISSION: At a public hearing in Maine, critics raise questions over whether the Clean Energy Connect transmission line will provide climate benefits. (Portland Press-Herald)

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POLITICS:
• Democratic presidential contender Beto O’Rourke has a complicated relationship with the energy sector, as five key votes show. (E&E News)
• Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, also running for president, says fighting climate change will create millions of jobs through clean energy. (The Guardian)

COMMENTARY:
• Energy efficiency — especially in the building sector — should be a focus in tackling the climate crisis, writes an executive for a stone wool insulation supplier. (Energy News Network, sponsored)
• Revenue from wind projects can bring much-needed revenue and stability to Great Plains farmers, an Iowa-based writer says. (The Guardian)
Transportation advocates support congestion pricing in New York as a climate policy. (The Nation)

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