U.S. Energy News

Solar firm announces layoffs, will join trade case

SOLAR: SolarWorld is joining a trade case brought by bankrupt solar manufacturer Suniva that seeks to impose tariffs on solar imports into the U.S. (Portland Business Journal)

ALSO:
• SolarWorld Americas Inc. says it will permanently lay off around 500 employees at a plant in Oregon and may close the facility entirely. (Portland Business Journal)
• Sunrun’s CEO describes the company’s long-term approach to the chaotic residential solar market. (Greentech Media)

STORAGE: An Arizona utility installs two identical grid-scale batteries at different locations to test how the technology performs in the Phoenix area. (Greentech Media)

BIOENERGY: A pair of federal efforts could make it more profitable to turn organic waste from agriculture and other sources into energy by taking advantage of the Renewable Fuel Standard. (Midwest Energy News)

CLIMATE: Over 20 Republican senators send a letter urging President Trump to pull out of the Paris climate agreement, so the administration can “follow through on its commitment to rescind the Clean Power Plan.” (The Hill)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: The EPA has an early draft of the Clean Power Plan rollback, which focuses on the legal justification for nixing President Obama’s emissions standards for power plants, according to an administration official. (E&E News)

EMISSIONS: The Trump administration’s policies will stall U.S. progress on cutting emissions, according to a new report. (Vox)

CARBON CAPTURE: The Trump administration’s 2018 budget decimates funding for carbon capture and storage, which could cause research and development to “slow to a crawl.” (Climate Central)

POLITICS: During a Senate committee hearing, members sought assurances from nominees to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Department of Energy that their states’ priorities would be protected. (The Hill)

OIL & GAS:
• Colorado officials find a new pocket of underground gas in the same neighborhood where a home exploded last month, killing two people. (Denver Post)
• President Trump’s proposal to sell nearly half the country’s emergency oil stockpile is sparking debate, with some calling the plan a “short-sighted favor to oil billionaires.” (Associated Press)
• President Trump’s nominee for deputy energy secretary questioned the administration’s proposal to sell oil from the country’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve during a Senate hearing, saying it goes against federal law. (FuelFix)

COAL:
• The Navajo Nation introduces legislation to extend the lease on a coal-fired power plant in Arizona that’s slated to be torn down by 2020. (Arizona Republic)
• A coal operation owned by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s family is appealing a $10,000 state fine related to the death of a worker. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

NUCLEAR:
• Bankrupt Westinghouse Electric stops making pension payments to former executives. (Reuters)
• The CEO of Westinghouse said in his first public speech since the company’s bankruptcy filing that it will emerge “quickly, better, stronger.” (Bloomberg BNA)

COMMENTARY:
• The U.S. nuclear industry has become so uncompetitive that even conservatives are publicly opposing state subsidies to keep plants alive, says the editor of Climate Progress. (ThinkProgress)
• In an effort to promote as much fossil fuel development as possible, the Trump administration has replaced the phrase “energy independence” with “energy dominance.” (Washington Post)
• A former Republican U.S. Representative for South Carolina says now is the time to “lead our country down a path of resource security and economic prosperity with solar energy.” (The Hill)

CORRECTION: An item in Thursday’s digest incorrectly stated the source of a story on the Department of Energy’s grid study. It appeared in Vox.

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