U.S. Energy News

Solar net metering ‘fairness’ debate revived in California

SOLAR:
• In another front on the net metering debate, three major investor-owned utilities in California push back against a proposal they say would unfairly burden non-solar customers. Advocates say the utilities’ plan would impede solar growth. (Los Angeles Times)
• Nevada regulators will reconsider a decision to not grandfather utility customers with solar panels into a new net metering policy. (Greentech Media)
• The U.S. Department of Energy proposes $18 million in funding for a variety of microgrid and solar-plus-storage projects.(Utility Dive)

COAL: Investors are wondering whether Peabody Energy, the largest coal mining company in the U.S., will be next to file for bankruptcy. (St. Louis Business Journal)

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NATURAL GAS:
• The ongoing leak from a natural gas storage site near Los Angeles had been out of control for more than a month before officials said health impacts should be measured. (Associated Press)
Air quality officials delay action again on a definitive plan to curtail the leak. (Reuters)

CLIMATE:
• Two U.S. science agencies report that 2015 was undoubtedly the warmest year on record. (Washington Post)
• Scientists, business leaders and analysts warn that coal, oil and gas must stop being used as energy sources in order to avoid climate catastrophe. (Phys.org)

OIL AND GAS:
• An industry executive says a decades-long oil leak happening in the Gulf of Mexico is an “act of God.” (Associated Press)
Falling oil prices are impacting hundreds of millions of dollars in transportation funding in Texas, while Oklahoma may face a second budget amendment this year. (Texas Tribune, Tulsa World)

POLICY:
• The U.S. Senate will likely start debating a comprehensive, bipartisan energy bill next week. (E&E Daily)
• The Senate is expected to vote today on whether to override President Obama’s veto of legislation that protects small bodies of water from coal mining and other operations. (The Hill)

OHIO: The state ratepayer advocacy group in Ohio says “everyone is unhappy” in a new report about the state of the energy economy there. (Midwest Energy News)

PIPELINES: North Dakota regulators approve the state’s portion of a major oil pipeline, leaving Iowa as the final state left to approve it. (The Gazette)

NUCLEAR:
• The 99 nuclear reactors in the U.S. operated a record 91.9 percent of the time throughout 2015, a trade group reports. (Platts)
• Wisconsin Republicans are teaming up with scientists to lift a decades-old moratorium on new nuclear plants. (Isthmus)
• Opponents of a plan to bury nuclear waste less than a mile from Lake Huron submit a petition with more than 92,000 signatures to the Canadian government. (Associated Press)

EFFICIENCY: Retrofitting buildings to be more energy efficient has grown into a $20 billion industry nationwide. (Bloomberg)

NATURAL GAS: For the first time, power companies likely burned more natural gas than coal for energy in 2015. (Reuters)

COMMENTARY: “It is reassuring that President Obama is expediting coal’s transition into the dustbin of energy history.” (New Jersey Star-Ledger)

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