U.S. Energy News

Report: Wind energy construction hits near-record levels

WIND: Low costs and a tax credit extension have contributed to a near record-breaking increase in new wind energy projects, according to a recent industry report. (Reuters)

SOLAR:
• A former internet entrepreneur in Florida is spending his own money to defeat a utilty-backed amendment largely being seen as harmful to rooftop solar development. (Miami Herald, New York Times)
• A sports arena in Salt Lake City unveils a massive 2,700-panel rooftop solar array covering 80,000 square feet. (Deseret News Utah)
• Officials announce the completion of a solar array at a General Motors facility in Michigan, the largest such project at a GM site in the state. (Associated Press)

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RENEWABLE ENERGY:
• Grid experts say new high-voltage transmission lines could lead to a tenfold increase in renewable energy for the Eastern U.S. (Utility Dive)
• More traditional utilities are offering large-scale renewable energy purchasing programs, doubling their “green tariff” options in 2016, according to a new report. (World Resources Institute)
• Sustainability is moving into the mainstream at U.S. universities, with a coalition of over 650 schools pledging to achieve carbon neutrality. (Yale Environment 360)

NUCLEAR:
• Environmental and public policy groups send a letter urging the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to block a proposed nuclear waste depository in Texas, calling it a “risky plan.” (The Hill)
• A sweeping new energy proposal from Exelon emerges in Illinois that would increase electric bills statewide to save struggling nuclear plants and is tied to funding for solar, wind and efficiency projects. (Crain’s Chicago Business)
• Critics are calling on New Mexico to reject a Department of Energy proposal for a temporary above-ground nuclear waste storage area. (Associated Press)

CARBON CAPTURE: Exxon Mobil is partnering with Connecticut-based FuelCell Energy to build a carbon capture pilot project at a power plant in Alabama. (FuelFix)

COAL: Three coal-burning power units in Utah will shut down a year ahead of schedule, reducing emissions by more than 3,500 tons annually. (Deseret News Utah)

PIPELINES:
• Police use pepper spray and armored vehicles to clear pipeline protesters from private land in North Dakota, arresting 141 people; tribal leaders say the land belongs to them under an 1851 treaty. (Reuters)
• Civilian aircraft are barred from flying over a 4-nautical-mile area in North Dakota where protesters are demonstrating against the Dakota Access Pipeline. (Reuters)

OIL & GAS: The economic costs of complying with the Clean Power Plan would be lowest if states implement natural gas friendly policies, according to a report commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute. (The Hill)

CLIMATE: Investors are beginning to tell Exxon to better assess the risks of climate change. (Bloomberg)

EMISSIONS: Volkswagen’s $15 billion settlement with the U.S. government and car owners is only part of what the automaker is paying for its emissions cheating scandal. (New York Times)

POLICY: Nearly 50 fiscally conservative groups ask Republican leaders in Congress not to extend renewable energy tax breaks, saying the policies “have consistently failed to deliver on their promises of long-term job creation and economic viability.” (The Hill)

UTILITIES: Germany offers lessons for how Ohio utilities can transition away from fossil fuels. (Midwest Energy News)

COMMENTARY: Why the pope failed to convince many American Catholics on climate change. (Vox)

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