U.S. Energy News

Record federal settlement to clean up Western refineries

OIL AND GAS: Two refiners agree to a record $425 million settlement that is expected to significantly reduce pollution in the West. (Los Angeles Times)

ALSO:
• An eight-year study says fracking may worsen asthma in children and adults who live near drilling sites. (Associated Press)
• Natural gas production begins at the Pittsburgh airport, in a deal that is expected to net $450 million in royalty payments. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
• Natural gas flaring is increasing again in North Dakota. (Prairie Public Broadcasting)

PIPELINES: Hundreds of miles of pipelines are under development in Texas to export natural gas to Mexico. (Bloomberg)

EFFICIENCY: One of the largest oil refineries in the Midwest is planning a $150 million combined heat and power project to add to its facility, along with new pollution controls to limit sulfur emissions. (Midwest Energy News)

TRANSPORTATION: It appears the U.S. will fall short of fuel-efficiency standards in vehicles that were championed by the Obama administration. (Washington Post)

COAL: Sampling results from coal dust monitors indicate a new regulation to protect miners appears to be working. (Lexington Herald-Leader)

UTILITIES:
• Regulators question whether an Arizona utility is relying too much on natural gas, putting consumers at risk if prices rise again. (Arizona Republic)
• Hawaii regulators reject a Florida utility’s proposed $2.63 billion takeover of Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. (Tampa Tribune)
• The CEOs of Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas defend their planned merger while clean energy advocates claim it would heighten risks to customers. (Charlotte Observer)

SOLAR:
• California set a new record last week with more than 8,000 MW of solar production. (Utility Dive / PV Magazine)
• Guam’s utility wants to review net metering, invoking a common argument that solar customers don’t pay for their share of the grid. (KUAM)
• After delays, a 5 MW solar project atop a Vermont landfill is moving forward. (VTDigger)
• An Idaho utility proposes a community solar project, which would also be the state’s first utility-scale solar array. (Associated Press)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: Participants in a panel discussion say New England states will meet climate targets regardless of the outcome of a court challenge to the Clean Power Plan. (RTO Insider)

POLITICS: A group of U.S. House Republicans seeking to take action on climate change are skipping this week’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland. (ClimateWire)

RESEARCH: The director of Iowa’s premier energy research center is resigning after a three-and-a-half-year tenure that was marked by pushback from utilities and lawmakers. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY: “If anything, net-metering undervalues, not overvalues, the benefits of rooftop solar.” (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

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