U.S. Energy News

Spike in earthquakes in central, eastern U.S. linked to oil and gas

EARTHQUAKES:
• A dramatic increase in earthquakes in the central and eastern U.S. since 2009 is associated with fluid injection wells used in oil and gas development, says a new study. (ScienceDaily)
A new study finds that the recent spike in earthquakes in Oklahoma is primarily due to the injection of wastewater produced during oil extraction. (ScienceDaily)

BIOMASS: Greenfield, Massachusetts, has passed the state’s first local ordinance strictly regulating—and in some cases banning—large-scale wood-burning power plants. (WWLP)

WIND: Developers and government officials gathered at a summit this week said they are optimistic that offshore wind power will eventually catch on in the U.S. as it has in Europe. (Climate Central)

ARCTIC DRILLING: Shell successfully deployed and tested emergency equipment meant to respond to a blown-out well in the Arctic Ocean, federal regulators said Thursday. (FuelFix)

BATTERIES: Tesla signed a five-year partnership this week with a leading lithium-ion battery researcher to enhance storage capacity and drive down costs for automotive and grid energy storage. (Fortune)

POPE: The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is delivering Pope Francis’s encyclical on man-caused climate change to Congress, the White House and Catholics nationally. (The Hill)

CONGRESS: The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday advanced a $30.01 billion spending bill that takes aim at the EPA’s climate rules. (The Hill)

CRUDE: Supporters of ending the U.S. ban on crude oil exports are mounting a full-court press to win over wary lawmakers. (E&E Daily)

BIOFUELS: The EPA defended its handling of the nation’s controversial renewable fuels program Thursday at a congressional hearing. (Reuters)

SOLAR:
Iowa’s two major investor-owned utilities are refusing to net-meter solar projects financed by a third party, a funding mechanism upheld last summer by the state Supreme Court. (Midwest Energy News)
In West Virginia, Solar Holler is using crowd funding to help nonprofits install solar panels for less than the price of a cup of coffee. (Yes! Magazine)
EFFICIENCY: Consumers may be in for sticker shock as automakers turn to costly technology to meet tighter U.S. fuel-economy mandates, according the National Research Council. (Bloomberg)
PRESIDENTIAL RACE: Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley says that if he is elected president he will phase out the use of fossil fuels by 2050 and convert the U.S. to clean-energy only. (The Hill)

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