U.S. Energy News

Premature birth rate drops after closure of California coal and oil plants

POLLUTION: Pregnant women living near coal- and oil-fired power plants in California experienced fewer premature births after the plants were shut down, according to a new study. (InsideClimate News)

COAL: New studies confirm a surge in black lung disease in West Virginia, Kentucky and Virginia. (NPR)

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OIL & GAS:
House Democrats introduce a bill to block oil and gas drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which would reverse an approval passed by Congress last year. (The Hill)
Investors in new natural gas plants are not seeing the financial returns they had hoped for. (Bloomberg)

AUTOMOTIVE: A leading automotive trade group asks the Trump administration to keep federal vehicle efficiency standards aligned with those set by California, saying the rules are needed to combat climate change. (Bloomberg)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• A California energy storage mandate would be largely unnecessary if EV charging is coordinated to balance the grid, according to a new analysis. (Utility Dive)
• Tesla says a software update will fix a braking issue on its Model 3 that led to an unfavorable review in Consumer Reports, and the magazine has offered to retest the sedan. (Quartz, Reuters)

CLEAN ENERGY: An Ohio construction firm that started out building coal and nuclear plants sees steady growth by emphasizing solar and energy efficiency projects. (Midwest Energy News)

WIND: Ameren will move forward with a 175-turbine, 400 MW wind project in northeastern Missouri, which would be the state’s largest. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

SOLAR: A new report explores why solar installations tend to be smaller in the Northeast and what that means economically. (PV Magazine)

NUCLEAR:
A former Nuclear Regulatory Commissioner tells a House committee that European utilities expressed interest in buying at-risk U.S. nuclear plants but were dissuaded by federal rules limiting foreign ownership. (Utility Dive)
South Carolina’s attorney general plans to sue the U.S. Department of Energy over its abandonment of the MOX nuclear project, which was supposed to turn Cold War-era weapons into fuel for power plants. (Post and Courier)
U.S. regulators approve the first-phase of the design process for a small modular nuclear reactor, but a completed site likely won’t be in operation for at least a decade. (U.S. News & World Report)

EPA: The EPA bars some members of the media from attending a chemical summit, sparking a letter of complaint from Democratic senator Tom Udall. (New York Times, The Hill)

CLIMATE:
• A former energy adviser for the Trump administration is leading an effort to persuade investors not to adopt climate change resolutions. (The Hill)
• The former U.S. ambassador to Vietnam says the Trump administration’s retreat on climate leadership is encouraging countries like Vietnam to double down on coal power. (Huffington Post)

COMMENTARY: A professor at Georgetown University Law Center explains why fossil fuel giants should be held liable for climate change damages. (Mercury News)

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