U.S. Energy News

Report: U.S. coal demand at lowest level since 1984

COAL:
• U.S. coal demand falls to the lowest level since 1984, with the power sector consuming just 677 million short tons last year, according to a new report from the Energy Information Administration. (FuelFix)

ALSO:
• President Trump’s top economic adviser praises the nation’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord and says “coal will be competitive again.” (Reuters)
• President Trump praises new coal mines opening up, but those mines are producing metallurgic coal used in steelmaking, not power plants. (NPR)
• How a Wyoming coal town has regained optimism thanks to President Trump. (Washington Post)
• Southern Co. may drop the “clean coal” component of its Kemper plant in Mississippi, which the company says will only be viable under higher natural gas prices. (POWER Magazine)
• Tennessee Valley Authority says it will continue shutting old coal plants as it transitions to more natural gas and nuclear power, predicting that coal will represent just 15 percent of its energy mix by 2027. (Reuters)

OIL & GAS: A surge in U.S. drilling has restored more than 15,000 jobs nationally, with oil rig numbers increasing for the 20th week in a row. (FuelFix)

PIPELINES: Minnesota regulators are set to hold 22 public meetings on Enbridge’s plan to replace its Line 3 pipeline through the state. (Associated Press)

CLIMATE:
• Ohio’s energy sector may prove to be an economic test case for President Trump’s climate decision last week. (E&E News)
• The New York attorney general says Exxon Mobil is misleading investors about how it estimates the potential cost of climate-change regulations, saying the company’s calculations “may be a sham.” (New York Times)
• Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says despite pulling out of the Paris agreement, the U.S. will continue to reduce its carbon emissions. (Associated Press)
• White House officials are refusing to say whether President Trump still considers climate change a hoax. (New York Times)
The New York Times analyzes how rejecting climate science came to become a core tenet of the Republican party.

CAP-AND-TRADE: A bill to extend California’s cap-and-trade program beyond 2020 and place new restrictions on air pollutants fails in the state legislature. (Los Angeles Times)

SOLAR: The U.S. residential solar market is projected to decline this year, following at least 16 consecutive years of growth, according to a new report. (Bloomberg)

WIND: Turbine-maker Vestas predicts that wind energy will continue to attract major investment in the U.S. despite the country withdrawing from the Paris climate accord, “because it makes economic sense.” (Reuters)

STORAGE: As the need for industrial-scale batteries becomes more vital, the world is coming up with creative ways to store renewable energy. (New York Times)

SMART GRID: A new survey finds growing awareness about smart grid programs and services but still relatively low participation among U.S. energy customers. (Midwest Energy News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Tesla CEO Elon Musk may not be able to produce a battery-powered long-haul truck that’s competitive with today’s diesel burners due to range and cargo limitations, according to a new study. (Wired)
• Barry Woods, the director of EV innovation for Maine’s largest solar equipment installer, has become the state’s leading electric vehicle promoter. (Portland Press Herald)
• Tesla supporters want Louisiana’s governor to veto legislation the company says will threaten future sales of the vehicles in the state. (Associated Press)

BIOFUELS: A Wisconsin ethanol plant where three workers died from an explosion last week was reprimanded by federal safety inspectors in 2011 for not taking precautions against dust explosions. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR: Recently released records show many costly mistakes at a nuclear project in South Carolina, which is $3 billion over budget and years behind schedule. (The State)

POLICY: The Trump administration’s budget cuts threaten America’s “Mission Innovation” pledge to double funding for energy innovation, which was made with 21 other countries and the European Union. (Greentech Media)

COMMENTARY: By withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, President Trump has brought climate change into the national spotlight and catalyzed cities, states and businesses to take up the cause. (Huffington Post)

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