U.S. Energy News

Senate bill seeks to end U.S. fossil fuel use by 2050

POLICY: In an effort to spark state and local action, U.S. senators introduced legislation to end the country’s fossil fuels use by 2050 by requiring vehicles to release zero carbon emissions, establishing “climate bonds” and barring federal pipeline approvals. (Washington Post)

ALSO:
• A Colorado senator introduces a bill that links the re-authorization of the state’s energy office to cuts in renewable energy incentives and the promotion of hydro and nuclear power. (Denver Business Journal)
• A look at five national monuments that could be opened up to developers following the outcome of an Interior Department review ordered by President Trump. (Associated Press)

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CLIMATE:
• Harvard University agrees to “pause” investments in some fossil fuel interests following pressure from students and environmental groups, saying climate change is a “huge problem.” (The Guardian)
• After a Thursday meeting to discuss the Paris climate accord, the Trump administration says it will likely reach a final decision on whether the U.S. will stay in the agreement in May. (Reuters)

ADVOCACY: With a successful fuel cell industry and numerous research institutions, Ohio has plenty of reasons to care about the Trump administration’s science policies, say protesters. (Midwest Energy News)

SOLAR:
• Over half of utility-scale solar in the U.S. utilizes tracking technology, according to data from the Energy Information Administration. (PV-Magazine)
• A bill in Maine seeks to expand community solar farms by developing 120 megawatts of new solar capacity over four years. (Portland Press Herald)

STORAGE:
• A California Senate committee passes a bill that would require utilities to create rebate programs for customers who install energy-storage systems. (PV-Magazine)
• How California procured 100 megawatts of grid-scale batteries in record time. (Energy Storage News)

TECHNOLOGY: Researchers improve on a method to produce hydrogen using solar cells instead of natural gas. (Scientific American)

COAL:
• Utilities are beginning to shut down larger and younger coal-fired power plants built after 1970. (E&E News)
• The premier of British Columbia is proposing a ban on U.S. coal exports through Canada’s west coast ports, which could hurt President Trump’s plans to revive the coal industry. (Vox)

OIL & GAS: BP discovers 200 million barrels of oil in the Gulf of Mexico using new imaging technology. (Houston Chronicle)

PIPELINES:
• Revival of the Keystone XL pipeline is again dividing Nebraskans. (New York Times)
• A proposed 303-mile pipeline that would carry fracked gas between West Virginia and Virginia is expected to receive a key approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in June. (Pittsburgh Business Times)

POLLUTION:
• How satellites were used to detect unreported oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico, which totaled about 50 times larger than official estimates. (Fast Company)
• The company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline gets more bad press after spilling drilling fluids in two pristine Ohio wetlands during the construction of a 710-mile pipeline. (Washington Post)

REGULATION: Idaho overhauls its oil and gas laws and creates a new Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. (Associated Press)

UTILITIES: Duke Energy plans to cut its carbon emissions by 40 percent compared to 2005 levels over the next 13 years, according to a new sustainability report. (Charlotte Business Journal)

COMMENTARY:
• The theme of President Trump’s first 100 days in office has been handing out favors to the fossil fuel industry, says a writer at Vox.
• Pulling out of the Paris agreement would make the U.S. a rogue nation, cost the country economically and destroy the Trump brand, says the founding editor of Climate Progress.

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