U.S. Energy News

Senate Democrats unveil plan for $80 billion in grid upgrades

GRID: Senate Democrats release an infrastructure plan that includes $80 billion for grid upgrades, but it’s unlikely to gain traction in Congress. (Greentech Media)

TRANSMISSION: Canadian officials approve the Quebec segment of the international Northern Pass transmission project, which would deliver power to Northeast states. (Utility Dive)

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WIND:
• Claims by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke that wind turbines contribute to global warming and kill hundreds of thousands of birds a year are greatly exaggerated and misleading. (Time, Axios)
• The inauguration of a new governor in New Jersey has revived prospects for the state’s offshore wind industry. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

SOLAR: How a Massachusetts entrepreneur launched her own solar finance company when she was having trouble finding funding for a rooftop array. (Greentech Media)

STORAGE:
• Policy proposals in four Northeast states could push the region to rival California on energy storage. (Northeast Energy News)
• General Electric unveils a 1.2 MW grid-scale storage battery. (Daily Gazette)

EFFICIENCY: Amazon’s Alexa Fund invests for the second time in Ecobee, a smart thermostat company that utilizes voice-activated controls. (Greentech Media)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Panelists at an electric vehicle conference share immediate steps that policymakers can take to boost EV adoption. (Greentech Media)

BIOFUELS:
• U.S. biofuel companies send a letter urging President Trump to support the Renewable Fuel Standard, saying changes to the system would negatively impact ethanol and biofuel producers. (The Hill)
• More than two dozen workers from U.S. oil refining companies gathered in Washington to lobby for changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard. (Reuters)

COAL:
• In an announcement that blindsided many Texas environmentalists, a San Antonio utility reveals it will still be burning coal in 2040. (Rivard Report)
• A senior Energy Department official says the agency wants help to develop small modular coal-fired power plants. (Utility Dive)

OIL & GAS:
• Energy analysts predict a “major second wave of U.S. shale production” is coming. (Time)
• Exxon’s shares fall to their lowest level in more than two years after the company announces a goal to double annual earnings by 2025. (Reuters)
• Lawmakers in the Colorado Senate kill a bill that would have required state regulators to prioritize public health and safety before allowing new oil and gas drilling inside cities. (Denver Post)

OFFSHORE DRILLING: An analysis shows the risk of oil spills from expanded offshore drilling would threaten hundreds of thousands of jobs and tens of billions of dollars in gross domestic product from Virginia to Florida. (Southeast Energy News)

PIPELINES:
• The Standing Rock Sioux tribe asks a federal judge for a “meaningful role” in the environmental review of the Dakota Access pipeline. (Associated Press)
• Pennsylvania regulators order the immediate shutdown of the Mariner East 1 pipeline after sinkholes exposed the pipe near a Philadelphia suburb. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

NUCLEAR: As talk of building a nuclear storage facility in Nevada heats up again, Congress has no plans to fund it. (Bloomberg)

POLICY: A bipartisan bill backed by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke would use revenues from drilling on federal lands to increase funding for national park infrastructure. (The Hill)

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CLIMATE: An appellate court denies a Trump administration request to halt a federal climate change lawsuit brought by a group of 21 children and teenagers. (Washington Post)

COMMENTARY:
• A business reporter for the New York Times says homeowners should think twice before installing a small-scale wind turbine.
• An annual survey shows U.S. utilities support carbon pricing and want to phase out coal, which doesn’t fit with the Trump administration’s energy agenda, writes the communications director at Energy Innovation. (Forbes)

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