U.S. Energy News

Over 1,000 companies urge Congress to keep Energy Star program

EFFICIENCY:
• Over 1,000 U.S. companies send a letter urging Congress to preserve the Energy Star program, saying it “should be strengthened, not weakened,” as President Trump has proposed. (Associated Press)
• President Trump’s proposal to eliminate the Energy Star program could benefit his properties, many of which have low energy efficiency ratings. (CNN)

SOLAR:
• In an effort to diffuse net metering battles before they start, a Colorado utility will charge its customers different rates during peak hours and expand community solar farms. (NPR)
• In the vast majority of the U.S., energy jobs are in solar – not coal. (New York Times)
• A 200,000-panel solar farm in West Texas starts generating power, securing Houston’s title as the “nation’s largest municipal purchaser of green power.” (FuelFix)
• The CEO of the second largest utility-scale solar developer in the U.S. talks about his company’s growth and the future of solar. (Greentech Media)
• President Trump’s pending tax reforms are already disrupting solar industry financing. (Bloomberg)

WIND: The developer of what could become North Carolina’s first offshore wind farm says the project won’t be completed until “well beyond 2020.” (Triangle Business Journal)

RENEWABLES: Over 80 percent of utility employees in North American predict that renewable energy will increase in their service areas over the next decade, according to a survey. (Utility Dive)

CLIMATE:
• Energy Secretary Rick Perry says he supports remaining in the Paris climate agreement, but thinks the U.S. should “renegotiate it.” (Greentech Media)
• A coal mining industry group will urge President Trump to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. (Politico)

NUCLEAR: Toshiba says it will split itself into four subsidiaries in response to losses in its nuclear power division. (Nuclear Street)

OIL & GAS: Pennsylvania and Ohio had the highest increases in natural gas production in 2016, according to a report from the Energy Information Administration. (Pittsburgh Business Times)

PIPELINES:
• The National Wildlife Federation uncovers more oil and gas spills than previously thought from Enbridge’s Line 5, which runs through the Great Lakes region. (Midwest Energy News)
• About 756 gallons of oil leaks from a pipeline into a tributary of the Little Missouri River in western North Dakota. (Associated Press)

COAL:
• President Trump’s recent actions are unlikely to revive coal, according to a study by Columbia University. (CNN Money)
• Despite silence from the Trump administration, lawmakers say they’re optimistic Congress will save healthcare for retired miners before their benefits expire this week; West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin says he’s open to forcing a government shutdown over the issue. (Richmond Times Dispatch, Daily Item)

CAP-AND-TRADE: A California Assembly committee votes in favor of a proposal to add air pollution to the state’s cap-and-trade program in an effort to protect poor and working-class communities. (Mercury News)

POLITICS:
• As Minnesota lawmakers seek more oversight on how $47 million in Volkswagen settlement funds are spent, advocates warn that their bills “could result in the state not getting anything.” (Midwest Energy News)
• President Trump will sign an order authorizing the Interior Department to review any national monument created since 1996, would could ultimately open those areas to oil and gas production. (Washington Post, ThinkProgress)

COMMENTARY:
• If the U.S. stops using nuclear power it would pose a threat to national security, according to two professors at the University of Georgia. (Forbes)
• Money used to keep the nuclear industry afloat would be better spent on renewable energy, says an editor at MIT Technology Review.

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