U.S. Energy News

Pruitt says first move as EPA chief will be to withdraw Clean Power Plan

CLEAN POWER PLAN: In his first interview as EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt says he expects to quickly withdraw the Clean Power Plan. (ThinkProgress)

HYDRO:
• California officials say the damaged Oroville Dam has been fortified and drained enough to handle incoming storms. (Los Angeles Times)
• The country’s aging hydropower infrastructure could represent an opportunity for wind and solar growth. (Motley Fool)

NUCLEAR:
• A wide-ranging series of events – including less demand for electricity, low natural-gas prices and the rise of wind and solar – have led to a troubled U.S. nuclear power industry. (New York Times)
• Experts say the $6.3 billion failure of Toshiba’s U.S. nuclear development arm could mean the end of U.S. nuclear construction for the foreseeable future. (MIT Technology Review)

COAL:
• Coal executive Robert Murray shares his thoughts on what the Trump administration means for the coal industry. (Greenwire)
• A new coal mine opening in May will bring at least 70 jobs to western Pennsylvania, say company officials. (Associated Press)

OIL & GAS: Drilling activity is rebounding in the oil fields of West Texas, but many of the jobs lost in recent years aren’t coming back. (New York Times)

PIPELINES:
• A judge denies a request from environmental groups seeking to temporarily block construction permits for a 350-mile gas pipeline in Pennsylvania. (Tribune-Review)
• The Army officially ends an environmental study of the Dakota Access Pipeline that was issued under the Obama administration. (Associated Press)
• Over 120 investors tell 17 banks that are financing the Dakota Access Pipeline that the project should be rerouted away from a Native American tribe’s reservation to avoid “unrest as well as possible contamination of the water supply.” (Huffington Post)
• A New Jersey commission board could soon decide the fate of a controversial, 22-mile natural gas pipeline slated to run through a state-protected forest. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
• A bill approved by the North Carolina House could remove a key legal obstacle for the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline. (Southeast Energy News)

FRACKING: State regulators say fracking is likely responsible for a series of minor earthquakes in western Pennsylvania. (Associated Press)

CLIMATE: A House committee again issues subpoenas to the attorneys general of New York and Massachusetts – who are leading investigations into whether ExxonMobil deliberately concealed its knowledge of climate change – demanding access to climate-related documents. (Washington Post)

SOLAR:
• After more than a year of negotiations, Utah lawmakers propose a bill that requires homeowners associations to tell buyers upfront if there is a prohibition against solar panels in the neighborhood. (Deseret News)
• Several Nevada lawmakers want to revive the state’s solar industry after new rates for net metering killed more than 2,500 rooftop solar installation jobs in 2016. (Review-Journal)
• SolarCity, the country’s top installer of residential rooftop solar systems, is expanding into Virginia. (Southeast Energy News)

WIND:
• General Motors wants to power an SUV plant in West Texas with 100 percent wind power by 2018. (Yale Climate Connections)
• New technology that allows wind turbines to talk to each other could help boost wind farm capacity and lower operating costs. (Greentech Media)

POLICY: A clean energy group teams up with utilities to overturn legislation that prohibits low-income, multi-family properties from utilizing efficiency subsidies in Missouri. (Midwest Energy News)

COMMENTARY:
• Killing the Stream Protection Rule won’t put anyone back to work, but it will save Appalachian mine owners about $24 million in annual compliance costs, according to a political blogger for Mother Jones.
• Democrats and independents should embrace a carbon tax plan proposed by conservatives, says an associate professor at Rice University. (The Hill)

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