U.S. Energy News

Nevada solar customers file class-action lawsuit following net metering changes

SOLAR:
• Nevada customers file a class action lawsuit against a utility after state regulators’ recent approval of net metering changes. (Greentech Media) 
• Local fights over net metering are likely to intensify following the extension of federal tax credits. (Greentech Media)

OIL TRANSPORT: Tribes in the Pacific Northwest present a “game-changing possibility” to halt major proposed fossil-fuel transport projects. (Seattle Times)

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FRACKING: Fears grow in Oklahoma that the rise in the number of small earthquakes is an early sign of larger ones to come. (Associated Press)

CLIMATE:
• Congress took action on climate change in 2015 by supporting President Obama’s plan to safeguard against increasing flood risks in the 2016 budget, impacting billions of dollars in federal construction projects. (Inside Climate News)
A federal judge allows fossil-fuel trade groups to join in a lawsuit filed by youths seeking to reduce emissions contributing to climate change. (Eugene Register-Guard)

NATURAL GAS:
• California officials delay a decision to capture and burn off excess natural gas leaking from a site near Los Angeles, citing the possible risk of fire. (Reuters)
Nearby residents of the ongoing gas leak fear it may be harming their animals. (Los Angeles Times)
A Philadelphia-based co-op now allows customers to pay a premium for a “renewable natural gas” product derived from landfills. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
Opposition mounts against proposed natural-gas pipelines in the Northeast. (Hartford Courant)

UTILITIES: A utility CEO from Vermont says a focus on customer service has helped her company adapt to growth in distributed generation and other grid developments. (Midwest Energy News)

CLEAN POWER PLAN:
• Lawmakers seek to make Kentucky a “sanctuary state” from EPA rules where it would “allow utilities to use whatever fossil fuel they want.” (Louisville Courier-Journal)
• The CEO of Ohio-based AEP says the utility’s complying with the Clean Power Plan will not be as difficult as originally planned. (USA Today)

WIND: Officials say the Southwest Power Pool could handle wind penetration levels of up to 60 percent of total capacity with additional transmission and monitoring tools. (RTO Insider)

COAL:
• President Obama’s call to halt new coal leases on public lands is “an opportunity for the U.S. to set a course for the next several decades.” (Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis)
The president’s decision halts at least 30 applications from companies seeking to mine coal on public land. (Associated Press)
Coal supporters are skeptical that the federal government’s plans to help coal-dependent towns transition to clean energy jobs will be successful. (New York Times)
Wyoming has spent tens of millions of dollars looking at ways to maintain coal use and save the industry, “with little to show” for it. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR:
• North Dakota officials are considering whether to allow scientists to study the possibility of storing spent nuclear waste in deep underground rock formations there. (Bismarck Tribune)
• 
Southern Co. and X-energy have been awarded up to $40 million each to research and overcome “key technical challenges to the design, construction and operation of next generation nuclear reactors.” (The Hill)

RENEWABLES: U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says states that are pushing back against clean energy are missing out on chances to revive their economy. (Associated Press)

GRID:
• States in grid operator MISO’s footprint want the organization to focus on resource adequacy, capacity, demand response and cost allocations in 2016. (RTO Insider)
Regional grid operators will oversee $38 million from the federal government for modernization projects. (RTO Insider)

CYBERSECURITY: A satirical website gives a “poke to the security community” by listing various animals — including birds and squirrels — as potential threats to the grid. (EnergyWire)

COMMENTARY:
• President Obama’s moratorium on new coal mining leases on public lands “sends a signal that the administration is serious about decreasing the country’s reliance on fossil fuels.” (New York Times)
A “great irony” of Obama’s presidency is that U.S. crude oil production has increased 88 percent since he took office. (Forbes)

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