U.S. Energy News

Pruitt wants EPA to consider energy effects when setting clean air laws

EPA: EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt issues an emergency memorandum to change how federal clean air laws are made, saying the agency’s advisers should consider any adverse economic or energy effects. (InsideClimate News)

ALSO:
A White House spokesperson says President Trump is pleased with the job Pruitt has done as EPA administrator, but his ethical investigations “have raised some concerns.” (Reuters)
Pruitt is seeking extra help defending himself from an onslaught of ethical scandals through a private legal defense fund, but that may come with ethical issues of its own. (Mother Jones)

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CLIMATE:
The Pentagon revised an Obama-era Defense Department report to minimize climate change threats to military bases and installations, according to an unpublished draft obtained by The Washington Post.
Washington state’s King County files a climate change lawsuit against five prominent fossil fuel companies and asks them to establish a fund to pay for the effects of global warming. (The Hill)

EMISSIONS: The Trump administration scraps a NASA project that monitored whether countries were reducing their greenhouse gas emissions, citing ”budget constraints and higher priorities.” (The Hill)

AUTOMOTIVE:
A look at how federal auto standards have improved vehicle efficiency for different models of gas-powered pickup trucks, sedans and S.U.V.s (New York Times)
Automakers say they care about climate change, but they’re also pushing for weaker vehicle efficiency standards. (Fast Company)

SOLAR:
The nation’s fifth-largest developer, Cypress Creek Renewables, is investing in solar training programs at community colleges in South Carolina, New York, North Carolina, Illinois and Michigan. (Greentech Media)
Two studies find an 88 percent difference in the value of solar in Montana versus Maryland, but some are skeptical of the data. (Utility Dive)

WIND: A Chicago wind company installs what it says is the tallest wind turbine in the U.S. at a West Texas test facility. (North American Windpower)

OFFSHORE DRILLING: The Pentagon tells House lawmakers that offshore oil and gas drilling in the eastern part of the Gulf of Mexico could interfere with military training and testing. (The Hill)

PIPELINES: A tunnel beneath the Straits of Mackinac holding Line 5 and electric transmission lines could cost more than half a billion dollars and take seven years to build, according to a new analysis. (Midwest Energy News)

NUCLEAR:
Despite fierce opposition from Nevada lawmakers, the House approves a bill that would restart the licensing process for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. (Associated Press)
Nuclear waste from power plants around the country could be headed to West Texas for temporary storage as a result of a bill passed by the House on Thursday. (Houston Chronicle)

GEOTHERMAL: A volcanic eruption threatens a geothermal power plant on Hawaii’s Big Island. (Reuters)

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GRID:
Attorneys general from nine states and Washington, D.C., urge the Energy Department to reject FirstEnergy’s request for support for its power plants, saying it would “set a dangerous precedent that threatens all of our states.” (Toledo Blade)
Five of the six U.S. grid operators agree that federal regulators should not direct changes to power plant compensation based on resilience. (Utility Dive)
Xcel Energy’s recent departure from the Mountain West Transmission Group underscores the challenges of forming a Western RTO. (E&E News)

COMMENTARY: America’s struggling nuclear plants are worth saving due to their zero carbon footprint, but it will take advocacy and organizing to ensure they stay open, says Vox’s David Roberts.

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