U.S. Energy News

Solar panels may help California cope with unrelenting drought

SOLAR:

Photovoltaic panels made up of half-millimeter thick silicon wafers erected over reservoirs may help California cope with its ongoing record drought. (Los Angeles Times)
Los Angeles has dropped plans to buy electricity from a controversial solar plant proposed for the Mojave Desert, delivering a serious blow to the most environmentally sensitive renewable energy project in the state. (Los Angeles Times)
Some observers say the real Solyndra scandal is that so few people noticed the success of the government program behind it. (Slate)

ALSO: The struggle over a proposed community solar garden in Minnesota, highlights the growing issue of planning and zoning for large-scale solar projects around the state. (Midwest Energy News)

NUCLEAR: Federal officials are preparing for a future in which small nuclear reactors are a key piece of U.S. energy policy. (The Hill)

JOBS: Pelted by the oil-market crash, the energy industry’s job cuts reached 150,000 by the end of May, according to energy recruiting firm Swift Worldwide Resources. (FuelFix)

ARCTIC DRILLING:
Shell has won two more critical government approvals for its planned exploratory oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean this summer, one of which allows the company to discharge wastewater into the Chukchi Sea. (FuelFix)
The American Petroleum Institute says oil drillers have a century of experience operating in Arctic conditions, but securing public confidence in their abilities to do so safely is proving a challenge. (The Hill)

OFFSHORE DRILLING: A showdown between oil and gas companies, a pro-drilling politician and a newly formed grassroots environmental group is brewing in South Carolina over offshore drilling. (VICE News)

GAS PIPELINE: Residents in Maryland’s Baltimore County will have another chance Monday to speak up about a controversial natural gas pipeline that was recently halted in mid-construction by a court ruling. (The Baltimore Sun)

ELECTRIC CARS: The National Automobile Dealers Association has ranked used electric cars from best to worst value retention, but the analysis leaves something to be desired. (Green Car Reports)

WEB: Greenpeace has released a new browser extension tool that shows which of the most popular websites are moving most ambitiously towards renewable energy use. (Sustainable Brands)

POPE: On Thursday, Pope Francis will release his first teaching letter addressing humanity’s role in climate change, but the leaders of the Catholic Church in the U.S. are wary of getting enmeshed in what is such a contentious issue here. (The New York Times)

GRID: Eight electric power and energy companies have agreed to create a national stockpile of spare transformers and other grid equipment essential for recovery from cyber and physical attacks, extreme weather and other natural disasters. (EnergyWire)

DIVESTMENT: For divestment campaigners, moving markets isn’t the point as much as provoking companies like Exxon Mobil and Peabody Energy toward climate action. (The New York Times)

EMISSIONS: Current pledges for greenhouse gas cuts will fail to achieve a peak in emissions low enough to avoid profound climate change, as subsidies for fossil fuels overwhelm efforts to curb pollution. (The Washington Post; Bloomberg)

COMMENTARY: Lawmakers seeking an effective alternative to President Obama’s regulatory approach to climate change should give the carbon tax bill before Congress the attention it deserves. (Bloomberg)

CORRECTION: Senator Martin Heinrich is from New Mexico, not North Dakota. An item in Friday’s digest listed the wrong state.

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