U.S. Energy News

Oil trains will soon be rolling through Columbia River Gorge again

OIL BY RAIL:
• Trains carrying crude oil will soon be rolling through the Columbia River Gorge again for the first time since a fiery derailment in early June. (Associated Press)
• A Washington state agency opposes a proposed oil-by-rail terminal in Vancouver over risks from increased traffic. (Associated Press)

SOLAR: A San Diego utility will likely be the first to reach California’s cap on customers who can participate in net metering. (PV Tech)

NUCLEAR:
• A California utility’s plan to close the state’s last nuclear plant was the result of a “confluence of progressive state policies.” (ClimateWire)
• Federal nuclear regulators assure the public that it will not lessen its oversight of the plant despite the announcement to close it. (San Luis Obispo Tribune)

COAL:
• The retirement of coal and nuclear plants in New England is leading to more natural gas and renewables. (SNL / Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis)
• Under a new filing by grid operator MISO, Upper Peninsula ratepayers would be on the hook for nearly $50 million in costs for the operation of aging coal plants there in 2014-2015. (Midwest Energy News)
• A Colorado community is in “turmoil” after Peabody Energy misses a $1.2 million tax payment. (Denver Post)
• The drop in coal production pushes carbon emissions low enough that the U.S. could achieve its 2030 emissions goals this year. (Forbes)

EFFICIENCY: New software in advanced thermostats could coordinate with utilities’ time-of-use pricing. (Washington Post)

FRACKING:
• A law professor says she is frustrated that opponents of the Obama administration’s fracking rules misinterpreted her work in fighting against the policy. (E&E Daily)
• The CEO of a company looking to start a fracking operation beneath the Cook Inlet in Alaska says there would be no harm to endangered beluga whales. (Associated Press)
• Rural Pennsylvania landowners feel left behind by state regulators as drinking-water problems persist. (Center for Public Integrity)
• Proposed changes to Maryland’s fracking regulations are opposed by environmental groups and the energy industry. (Baltimore Sun)

BIOFUELS: Congressional lawmakers from both parties line up to criticize the U.S. EPA’s ethanol mandate. (The Hill)

OIL AND GAS:
• The oil industry downturn is impacting the once-booming region of eastern New Mexico. (Associated Press)
• Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski says a federal agency is emphasizing the points of view of anti-Arctic drilling activists over others. (Alaska Dispatch News)
• Documents show U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito sold his shares of Exxon Mobil worth up to $250,000; Alito had previously recused himself from cases involving the company. (Reuters)

EFFICIENCY: A Virginia startup aims to create a green score for existing homes. (Southeast Energy News)

TRANSMISSION: Xcel Energy plans a $400 million transmission line between Texas and New Mexico. (Associated Press)

MERGERS: Shareholders approve TransCanada’s $13 billion acquisition of a Houston-based pipeline group. (Houston Business Journal)

2010 BP OIL SPILL: About $8.7 million of penalties from the Gulf spill are to be spent on filling canals in a Louisiana preserve originally dug by oil explorers after World War II. (WWL)

COMMENTARY:
• California’s cap-and-trade program “keeps on ticking as it was designed to, defying its critics.” (Los Angeles Times)
• California Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to cut petroleum use 50 percent by 2030 may be in trouble. (Sacramento Bee)
• Managing your home energy use is “still more of a hassle and expense than most homeowners want to take on.” (Vox)

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