U.S. Energy News

Oil sands disruption leaves U.S. refiners scrambling

OIL AND GAS: U.S. refiners seek alternatives to Canadian oil sands crude as production plummets in the aftermath of Alberta’s wildfires. (Reuters, New York Times)

ALSO:
• The EPA is set to issue today the first federal standards aimed at curbing methane emissions. (Wall Street Journal)
• A new study says the Bakken oil field leaks 275,000 tons of methane each year. (Associated Press)
• The “golden era” of high profits for refiners is coming to an end. (Reuters)

PIPELINES:
• Proposed pipeline regulations in North Dakota are pitting environmental groups and landowners against an oil industry that says the rules would be too onerous in challenging times. (EnergyWire) 
• Ongoing legal challenges to Keystone XL are directed at President Obama’s authority to reject the pipeline. (Washington Post)

CONGRESS: The Senate moves closer to passing a $37 billion energy bill. (The Hill)

COAL:
• The Energy Information Administration projects 2016 to see the largest annual decline in coal usage since record keeping began in 1949. (SNL Energy)
• Republicans in Congress criticize proposed cuts in federal spending for coal research. (Houston Chronicle)
• A report says co-ops’ investments in coal will increasingly put them in financial risk. (Electric Co-op Today)
• Montana’s governor meets with owners of a major coal plant to discuss the facility’s future. (Billings Gazette)

RENEWABLES:
• The EIA projects renewables will see the largest growth among energy sources through 2040. (The Hill)
• Critics say proposed changes to Vermont’s renewable energy credit market could backfire. (VTDigger)

CLIMATE:
• Climate activists drive FERC chairman Norman Bay from the stage at a conference in New York. (Albany Times Union)
• The idea of cap-and-trade started as a modest proposal by an economist in the late 1960s. (ClimateWire)
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation divests its $187 million stake in BP. (The Guardian)
• New York and California pension fund leaders urge Exxon investors to back a climate disclosure measure. (Reuters)

SOLAR:
• A New Jersey utility plans to spend $275 million building solar arrays on landfills and brownfields. (MyCentralJersey)
• A Florida homeowner perseveres in his bid to unplug his solar-powered home from the local utility, which is against the law there. (WFTV)

HYDRO: FERC issues its first new hydropower permit under a new process aimed at streamlining permitting. (PennEnergy)

GRID:
• A new infrastructure report recommends $177 billion in additional grid spending over the next decade. (Greentech Media)
• Winners of an MIT prize focus on finding ways to improve communication among different elements in microgrids. (InsideClimate News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Nevada’s state treasurer raises concerns about financial backing for a new $1 billion Faraday electric car plant. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

COMMENTARY: Why taxpayers could be stuck with the bill for coal mine cleanup. (The Conversation)

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