U.S. Energy News

Report: Utilities knew about climate threat for decades

CLIMATE: Like Exxon, U.S. utilities have known since the 1970s that burning fossil fuels causes global warming, according to research by an environmental watchdog group. (InsideClimate News)

ALSO: The EPA asks a conservative think tank to help it find climate denying scientists to participate in its debate on the merits of climate science. (ThinkProgress)

CAP-AND-TRADE: California Gov. Jerry Brown signs legislation to extend the state’s landmark cap-and-trade program, saying “California is leading the world in dealing with the principal existential threat that humanity faces.” (Los Angeles Times)

POLICY:
• An upcoming Senate bill that updates the nation’s energy policy is drawing opposition from environmentalists who are opposed to more natural gas development. (Mother Jones)
• House lawmakers are considering a spending bill that contains big cuts to clean energy and Appalachian development programs. (ThinkProgress)

POLITICS: Energy Secretary Rick Perry held a lengthy conversation on energy policy last week that turned out to be a prank by two Russian comedians. (Washington Post)

PIPELINES:
• A judge temporarily halts work on Sunoco’s Mariner East 2 natural gas pipeline in a southeast Pennsylvania. (Associated Press)
• West Virginia’s DEP has ordered construction on the Rover Pipeline to stop in certain areas, noting water pollution violations caused by construction. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• Following a favorable assessment from FERC last week, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline could begin construction in West Virginia this fall. (MetroNews)

FRACKING: A small town in western Pennsylvania that has become a destination for fracking waste drafts its own laws to stop pollution. (Nexus Media)

OIL & GAS:
• Texas-based Anadarko Petroleum plans to reactivate 3,000 wells that were shut down following a fatal home explosion in Colorado earlier this year. (Denver Post)
• The city council of Spokane, Washington, will let voters decide whether the city should fine railroad operators for shipping coal and crude oil through its downtown. (Associated Press)

COAL: Lignite coal production in North Dakota is “under heavy pressure” from the growing amount of wind projects being developed. (SNL)

VOLKSWAGEN SCANDAL: The chief of Volkswagen’s environmental and engineering center in Michigan plans to plead guilty next week after being charged with 11 felonies for his role in the emissions cheating scandal. (Reuters)

SOLAR:
• Maryland-based Direct Energy Solar says it will lay off 108 employees and close its Columbia office as part of a business model shift. (Baltimore Business Journal)
• After Louisiana homeowners saw a state tax credit program for solar panels revoked, the state announced it is changing course and will soon begin making payouts. (Greater Baton Rouge Business Report)
• Missouri-based SunEdison is approved for a bankruptcy plan “that will leave what was once the world’s largest renewable energy firm as a shell of its former self.” (Bloomberg)

NUCLEAR:
• A federal judge dismisses a lawsuit that sought to stop New York from subsidizing struggling nuclear power plants, saying the program was “plainly related to a matter of legitimate state concern.” (Reuters)
• Opponents of nuclear subsidies in Illinois are appealing a judge’s ruling that allows the state’s plan to move forward. (Illinois Radio Network)

UTILITIES: California’s “duck curve” problem is intensifying, according to this week’s report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. (Greentech Media)

COMMENTARY:
• News coverage on the decline of Appalachia’s coal country doesn’t focus enough on the role coal of companies, which have left behind “ripped-apart mountains, polluted water and generations of sick and disabled people,” says a contributor to the Washington Post.
• The Trump administration’s claim that renewable energy threatens the stability of the U.S. power grid is “simply not true,” says the president of Utility Variable-Generation Integration Group. (Quartz)

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