U.S. Energy News

Study: Appalachian coal production fell 45 percent between 2005 and 2015

COAL:
• Coal’s long-term decline in Appalachia will have ripple effects on health, education, and business, researchers from Tennessee and West Virginia conclude. Coal production in the region feel by 45 percent between 2005 and 2015. (News Sentinel)
• The Interior Department apologizes after an official writes an opinion piece incorrectly blaming Obama for blocking the approval of two coal mines in Colorado. (The Hill)

OIL & GAS:
• Lands cut from two national monuments in Utah by the Trump administration are now open to claims and leases by fossil fuel and uranium companies. (Associated Press)
• ExxonMobil faces “little risk” from a lower-carbon future, “even with aggressive policies to reduce emissions,” according to a company report. (Quartz)
• Exxon expects global oil demand to drop about 25 percent below current levels by 2040 if climate-friendly emissions regulations are fully implemented. (Reuters)
• Environmental groups sue the federal government after the Interior Department allegedly conducted a petroleum lease sale in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve without proper environmental review. (Associated Press)
• Exxon and Chevron report billions of dollars of benefits in their latest earnings reports due to recent U.S. tax law changes. (Houston Business Journal)
• How Washington state defeated another oil and gas terminal with the help of government, Native American tribes and environmental groups. (Los Angeles Times)
• Native American tribes ask Washington Governor Jay Inslee to block construction on a liquefied natural gas plant until an environmental review is complete. (Associated Press)

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OFFSHORE DRILLING: U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke meets separately with the governors of South Carolina and North Carolina to discuss the states’ opposition to the Trump administrations’ offshore drilling expansion plans. (Post and Courier, News & Observer)

PIPELINES: Fifteen people are arrested in North Carolina after refusing to leave Gov. Roy Cooper’s office in protest of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project. (WSOC TV)

POLLUTION:
• Officials in Brenham, Texas, worry oil and gas exploration on federal land around a lake could contaminate the city’s only source of drinking water. (Associated Press)
• Up to 200 gallons of crude oil spills at the Valdez Marine Terminal in Alaska, according to reports from the state’s environmental agency. (Associated Press)

BIOFUEL: Ethanol companies accuse EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt of trying to gut the federal ethanol mandate after recent comments that the program needs overhauled. (Houston Chronicle)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Tesla collaborates with Anheuser-Busch, PepsiCo and UPS to build on-site charging terminals in preparation for its new electric truck. (Reuters)

WIND:
• The Justice Department is reviewing an investigation into an Arizona wind farm to determine whether it should be prosecuted for the deaths of a federally protected golden eagle and an endangered bat. (Associated Press)
• A Nebraska lawmaker is willing to re-introduce a two-year moratorium on wind development in the state’s Sand Hills region if a separate bill to broaden public comment on potential development doesn’t move forward. (Midwest Energy News)

NUCLEAR: A New Jersey proposed law that offers subsidies to nuclear power plants would cost taxpayers more than $4 billion over 15 years, according to an economic analysis. (NJ Spotlight)

TRANSMISSION: Northern Pass plans to file a motion for reconsideration after New Hampshire regulators rejected its permit for the Massachusetts renewable energy project. (New Hampshire Union Leader)

UTILITIES: Massachusetts regulators order utilities to cut their rates to reflect the reduction in the federal corporate tax approved by Congress. (Associated Press)

EFFICIENCY: A building retrofit program in Chicago has some early successes as it plays a key role in reducing the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. (Midwest Energy News)

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CLIMATE: The Trump administration withdraws its nomination of climate denier Kathleen Hartnett White to lead the Council on Environmental Quality. (Washington Post)

COMMENTARY:
• Trump’s claim that there’s been a “war on American energy” is deceptive, and his false narrative on coal “is particularly cruel,” writes The New York Times editorial board.
• South Carolina should avoid a “shotgun marriage” with Virginia-based Dominion Energy, says the director of a public policy and advocacy group. (Post and Courier)

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