U.S. Energy News

Senate committee approves former Exxon CEO for secretary of state

POLITICS: Former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson narrowly wins approval from a Senate committee for the position of secretary of state. (Associated Press)

ALSO:
• No one knows what Rex Tillerson actually believes or what he may do as secretary of state. (Vox)
• The Trump administration orders the EPA to freeze all grants and contracts and tells federal agencies to halt hiring in all areas on the executive branch except for the military, national security and public safety. (Washington Post)
• The Trump administration hires a former mining industry lobbyist and former researchers from pro-drilling think tanks for his new EPA transition team. (Reuters)

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REGULATION:
• As part of his mission to reshape the EPA, President Trump is expected to issue a series of executive orders designed to weaken environmental rules. (Vox)
• A regulatory freeze issued by the Trump Administration is blocking four nearly completed energy efficiency standards that would lower greenhouse gas emissions and save consumers money on their electric bills. (Washington Post)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: President Trump could use an executive order to effectively kill the Clean Power Plan. (E&E News)

STORAGE: Electric storage resources may concurrently recover their costs through cost-based and market-based rates, according to a policy statement from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. (Utility Dive)

MICROGRIDS: A small North Carolina island installs a microgrid with 10 Tesla Powerpacks and a 15-kilowatt solar array. (Utility Dive)

CLIMATE:
• Even if President Trump doesn’t scrap the Paris climate agreement, his administration can do damage from the inside by maintaining “its seat at the table” at global climate talks, as suggested by secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson. (Mother Jones)
• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cancel a major climate change summit in Atlanta. (ClimateWire)

SOLAR:
• Despite President Trump’s pro-fossil fuel rhetoric, financiers are still actively investing in new solar companies and projects. (Greentech Media)
• A new energy bill in Indiana would ban net metering by 2027 and institute a mandatory “buy-all, sell-all” provision that would essentially prohibit customers from using their own solar energy. (Midwest Energy News)
• Democratic and Republican party donors install rooftop solar systems at roughly the same rate, according to a new study. (Greentech Media)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: California utilities ask state regulators for over $1 billion to spend on new electric vehicle charging stations. (Bloomberg New Energy Finance)

COAL: Several environmental groups and the state of Indiana are objecting to a bankruptcy plan by coal giant Peabody Energy over concerns that the company won’t be able to pay $1 billion to clean up mines. (Reuters)

PIPELINES: President Trump’s press secretary hints at plans to approve the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines. (Grist)

UTILITIES: After being convicted of violating pipeline safety regulations before a deadly natural gas explosion, California’s largest utility asks a federal judge not to restructure its employee bonus program or require an advertising campaign publicizing the conviction. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY: With Donald Trump as president, it’s more important than ever for businesses to combat climate change and embrace renewable energy. (Forbes)

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