U.S. Energy News

States, environmental groups sue over light bulb standards

EFFICIENCY: A coalition of states and environmental groups sue the Trump administration over its rollback of light bulb efficiency standards. (The Hill)

CLIMATE: The Trump administration files the official paperwork to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord. (Vox)

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RENEWABLES:
• Georgetown, Texas, powered by 100% renewable energy, faces problems because it contracted for more electricity than it needs. (E&E News)
• Elections in Virginia today will likely decide whether the state joins the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. (E&E News, subscription)

SOLAR:
• Virginia has emerged as a hotbed for solar following reforms that added transparency and local control to permitting decisions. (Energy News Network)
• An Illinois program is spurring solar projects that will lower costs for residents and organizations in low-income and polluted areas. (Energy News Network)
• Alliant Energy joins other Midwest utilities planning a large-scale solar buildout as costs decline and federal tax credits begin to phase out. (Greentech Media)

EMISSIONS:
• President Trump’s plan to roll back federal fuel economy standards would produce a “modest” emission increase but still do irreparable harm to the climate and consumers, experts say. (E&E News, subscription)
• A Boston startup is developing an electric outboard motor that could reduce recreational boating’s carbon footprint. (Energy News Network)
• More than 1,000 Google employees in a public letter call on their employer to commit to zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. (Vox) 

OIL & GAS:
• The Interior Department went to extraordinary lengths to fast-track a permit for a politically connected oil firm, an investigation shows. (Reveal)
• The U.S. Energy Department’s assistant secretary for fossil energy says technological advances will help the U.S. solve “any climate issue.” (Reuters) 
• Texas is pivoting toward natural gas and wind as oil production slows down, an analyst says. (Texas Standard) 

PIPELINES:
• An Atlantic Coast Pipeline representative says he is optimistic the Supreme Court will rule in the company’s favor and restart construction. (My Buckhannon)
Nearly half of the 9,000 barrels of oil spilled from the Keystone pipeline have been recovered. (Reuters)

COAL:
• West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin urges Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to put a bill that would protect miners’ pensions up for a vote. (WV Metro News)
• The Trump administration proposes to loosen Obama-era rules meant to prevent water pollution from power plants and coal ash ponds. (InsideClimate News)
Wyoming may be seeing a cultural shift towards accepting an economy that is less dependent on coal. (E&E News, subscription)

CALIFORNIA: Ethics filings with the State of California reveal PG&E spent at least $2.1 million this year on lobbying policymakers, including buying drinks for lawmakers who sponsored the utility’s bailout, long after declaring bankruptcy. (The Intercept)

BIOGAS: Dominion Energy and Smithfield Foods say they will invest half a billion dollars into projects that turn animal waste into energy in North Carolina, Virginia and Utah. (Daily Press)

NUCLEAR: Strict cybersecurity rules are posing a challenge for utilities seeking to upgrade aging nuclear plants with digital controls and systems. (Utility Dive) 

POLITICS: America’s unique enthusiasm for the automobile is among the greatest challenges to solving climate change, and none of the 2020 presidential candidates are offering solutions for changing driving habits. (HuffPost)

COMMENTARY:
• Twitter’s political advertising ban doesn’t apply to oil companies’ climate ads, which “epitomize the art” of political issue ads, one expert says. (Heated)
• A law professor says Murray Energy’s bankruptcy shows it is “past time to discuss a just transition for coal miners.” (The Conversation)

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