U.S. Energy News

Pension funds face big risk from coal crash

COAL:
The pension funds of millions of people across the world, including teachers, public sector workers, health staff and academics in the U.S., are heavily exposed to the plummeting coal sector, according to a new analysis. (Guardian)
• A coalition of green groups will protest at the Export-Import Bank on Wednesday, urging its officials not to finance a project at a coal-powered Australian power plant. (The Hill)

EPA RULES: The House Appropriations committee approved a spending bill on Tuesday that cuts EPA funding by 9 percent and blocks key Obama administration climate rules. (The Hill)

ETHANOL: A new Republican bill introduced Tuesday in the Senate would completely repeal the federal mandate to blend ethanol into the nation’s gasoline supply. (The Hill)

OIL SANDS: ExxonMobil said Tuesday it has completed a $9 billion expansion that will double the production of its Kearl oil sands project in Alberta, Canada. (FuelFix)

ARCTIC DRILLING: The Obama administration fielded heavy criticism from both the right and left Tuesday over allowing oil and natural gas drilling in the Arctic, while Alaskans said the decision should be left up to locals. (The Hill; Alaska Dispatch News)

ONSHORE DRILLING: A federal judge is pressing federal officials to explain why it’s taken three decades to decide on a proposal to drill for natural gas just outside Glacier National Park in an area considered sacred by some Indian tribes. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR: The Pentagon’s top arms provider and firms partly funded by Silicon Valley billionaires are among dozens of companies collectively betting more than $1.3 billion on a new wave of nuclear power. (Business Insider)

INVESTMENT: Private sector investors should do more to boost spending on clean energy technology, Vice President Joe Biden said on Tuesday. (The Hill)

FRACKING: Even in a water-rich state like Ohio, growing water use for fracking could strain water reserves, according to new research. (Midwest Energy News)

WIND: A Spanish steel company said it intends to build a wind tower manufacturing plant in Amarillo, Texas, that would employ 300 people and build 400 towers a year. (FuelFix)

SOLAR: A Colorado-based solar company has begun an ambitious plan this week to enroll 5,000 Minnesota homeowners by December in its community solar garden program. (Midwest Energy News)

EPA RULES: Virginia will not be among the states fighting to overturn EPA limits to emissions from power plants, as it has been moving away from coal power for a decade and already suffers the effects of climate change. (InsideClimate News)

BATTERIES: Stanford scientists have created a new carbon material that “significantly” boosts the performance of batteries, according to a new study. (Sustainable Brands)

CRUISE SHIPS: Carnival announced Monday that it has signed a multibillion-dollar contract for four giant passenger ships that will be the first in the cruise industry powered at sea by liquefied natural gas. (Sustainable Brands)

PSYCHOLOGY: In recent years, psychologists and behavioral scientists have begun to decipher why we make the energy choices we do and why they are not always rational. (The Washington Post)

POLL: About 69 percent of adults say that global warming is either a “very serious” or “somewhat serious” problem, up from 63 percent in 2010, according to a new Pew Research Center poll. (The New York Times)

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