U.S. Energy News

States file lawsuit to defend fuel-efficiency standards

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EMISSIONS: California and 22 other states sue the U.S. EPA, asking a federal court to protect its right to set fuel-efficiency standards. (Washington Post)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Vermont launches an electric bus pilot program to see whether they can be a cost-effective option and handle the state’s rural roads. (Energy News Network)
• As electric vehicle ownership increases in Minnesota, drivers say a lack of charging stations in rural areas remains a challenge. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
• General Motors scraps plans to unveil a new electric vehicle model at the Consumer Electronics Show after delays from the six-week UAW strike. (CNET)
• Ford unveils its all-electric SUV, the Mustang Mach-E. (NBC News) 

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BUILDINGS:
A Rhode Island development pairs affordable housing with net-zero design to eliminate residents’ utility bills. (Energy News Network)
An effort to make Roanoke city buildings more efficient has reduced the city’s energy footprint 23% since 2012 and saved taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. (Energy News Network)

RENEWABLES: NextEra Energy, the world’s first $100 billion utility, owes its rise to early investments in renewables. (Bloomberg)

SOLAR:
• National Grid releases part of a study of proposed and stalled Massachusetts solar installations that says 300 MW can be connected to the grid without additional costs to developers. (Greentech Media)
Alabama residents and solar groups will challenge Alabama Power’s residential solar fees — which they say are some of the highest in the nation — in front of utility regulators this week. (Associated Press)

STORAGE: Gravity energy storage is a promising, if whimsical, solution that could help the grid balance intermittent renewables like wind and solar. (Grist)  

MICROGRIDS: An increasing number of airports are turning to microgrids as a way to boost resiliency and lower energy costs. (Greentech Media)

WIND: Makeup company Estee Lauder plans to source some of its energy from an Oklahoma wind farm. (ReNews)

OIL & GAS:
• The Bureau of Land Management suspends more oil and gas leases as it faces court rulings against it for ignoring the climate impact of fossil fuel production on federal lands. (InsideClimate News)
• Health professionals will meet at a Pittsburgh forum to discuss research into the health effects of oil and gas production. (WESA)
Texas energy companies are cutting their workforces as the industry slows down. (Houston Chronicle)

BIOFUELS:
• About 140 biodiesel companies and organizations ask Congress to renew a tax credit that had propped up the industry until lapsing last year. (Reuters)
• Scientists question the environmental effects of biofuels, but the impacts can be hard to separate from the consequences of food production. (The Revelator) 

COAL:
• America’s coal plants are turning off the boilers, facing brutal economics and customers fleeing for natural gas and renewable energy. (Quartz)
Activists are organizing a protest of Jacobs Engineering, the contractor hired by TVA to oversee the cleanup of the 2008 coal ash spill. (Knoxville News Sentinel)

NUCLEAR: A House committee is expected to vote this week on a series of energy and environmental bills, including Nevada’s Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. (E&E News, subscription)

CALIFORNIA: Regulators and consumers are skeptical of the motives behind the utilities’ planned power shut-offs. (Frontline)

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CLIMATE: A former South Carolina congressman says that more conservatives are needed in the climate advocacy movement. (Indianapolis Star) 

COMMENTARY: An energy podcast explores how Silicon Valley tech companies may be disadvantaging climate and clean energy on their platforms. (Greentech Media)

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