U.S. Energy News

Renewables account for 18 percent of U.S. power generation in 2017

RENEWABLES: Generation from renewables, including hydropower, broke a record last year, accounting for 18 percent of the overall energy mix, according to new data. (Greentech Media)

SOLAR: New Mexico lawmakers approve a tax credit offsetting the cost of solar systems for homes and small businesses, but the governor has indicated she may not sign the measure. (Associated Press)

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WIND:
• An oil CEO and energy adviser to President Trump is the driving force behind efforts to impose tax increases on wind energy in Oklahoma. (Houston Chronicle)
• A transmission company receives federal approval to enable offshore wind energy projects in Massachusetts. (Utility Dive)

BIOMASS: EPA chief Scott Pruitt says the agency plans to declare biomass carbon neutral in “appropriate circumstances.” (New Hampshire Public Radio)

COAL:
• A new survey shows Americans are rapidly turning against coal, but fracking and pipelines remain controversial. (Vox)
• The owners of a troubled Arizona coal plant ask state lawmakers to exempt the coal it burns from sales taxes, which could make the plant more attractive to potential buyers. (Associated Press)
• A Pennsylvania power plant will phase out and halt coal burning by 2029 under a deal struck between the plant operator and an environmental group. (York Dispatch)
• A government watchdog discovers a Texas company behind a failed carbon sequestration project improperly charged the Energy Department over $2 million for booze, first-class travel and spa services. (Bloomberg, Vice)

POLLUTION: Environmental groups sue the Trump administration for issuing a Clean Water Act permit that lets oil companies dump drilling and fracking waste into the Gulf of Mexico. (The Hill)

NUCLEAR: Duke Energy’s six nuclear plants in the Carolinas generated slightly more than half of the electricity used by its customers in 2017. (Charlotte Business Journal)

REGULATION:
• All five FERC commissioners spoke at this year’s National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) conference, covering topics like resilience, pipelines and potential reforms to the Public Utilities Regulatory Policy Act (PURPA). (Utility Dive)
• ISO-New England says federal regulators should dismiss challenges to its plan to reform its capacity market by splitting it into two parts. (Utility Dive)

POLICY: Four ways the Trump administration is using its new infrastructure plan as “another attack on the environment.” (Mother Jones)

GRID: Energy Secretary Rick Perry unveils a new office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER) at the DOE, which will focus on “energy infrastructure security.” (Greentech Media)

POLITICS: A top White House environment and energy adviser resigns after being told he can’t get a permanent security clearance because he smoked marijuana in 2013. (Washington Post)

COMMENTARY:
• The CEO of Sol Systems explains why solar will be the dominant source of new electricity generation in the United States by 2022. (Greentech Media)
• Clean energy projects create jobs, fuel the economy and drive down emissions, says the president of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and a director at Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions Forum. (The Hill)

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