U.S. Energy News

Study: Bitcoin’s carbon footprint rivals Las Vegas

EMISSIONS: A study finds that Bitcoin consumes electricity comparable to a city the size of Las Vegas, and is responsible for more than 20 million billion tons of carbon emissions annually. (Associated Press)

TRANSPORTATION:
A coalition led by utilities and clean energy advocates seeks to cut transportation emissions 50% by 2050. (Utility Dive)
A plan to repave a popular commuter shortcut in St. Paul, Minnesota, symbolizes the challenges cities face in meeting climate goals while still accommodating drivers. (Energy News Network)

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NUCLEAR:
• A stalemate over nuclear waste storage at Yucca Mountain might be resolved if the Department of Energy was no longer the lead agency on the project, experts and members of Congress suggest at a House hearing. (Nevada Independent)
• A former Energy Department official tells Congress it should pursue nuclear waste disposal at Yucca Mountain despite overwhelming and bipartisan opposition from Nevada. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

COAL ASH: The Tennessee Valley Authority in a settlement with state regulators agrees to dig up 12 million tons of coal ash stored in unlined pits at a Tennessee power plant. (Knoxville News Sentinel)

COAL: A Kentucky county plans to sue a coal company once run by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice to collect $670,000 in overdue taxes. (Lexington Herald Leader)

WIND:
A new version of a bill restricting wind energy projects near military bases passes the North Carolina Senate, but another rewrite is expected soon. (Coastal Review Online)
Indiana wind development may be at risk as more local governments put restricting policies up for a vote. (Indiana Environmental Reporter)

SOLAR:
A Virginia agency approved permits this week for more than 200 MW of new solar projects. (Associated Press)
• Community solar subscriptions sell out in less than two months for a Nebraska utility’s program. (KPTM)

PIPELINES: An analysis by an advocacy group calculates that long-term environmental and social costs for two natural gas pipelines in Pennsylvania could run as high as $2.4 billion. (NJ Spotlight)

CLEAN ENERGY:
• Federal data show that U.S. renewable energy capacity now exceeds that of coal. (CNN)
• A bipartisan bill in Congress would allow a financing mechanism commonly used for fossil fuel projects to be used for clean energy as well. (North American Windpower)
• A group of clean energy bills approved in Maine shows a stark turnaround from the days of former Gov. Paul LePage. (Utility Dive)

GRID:
• A California company is using artificial intelligence to help businesses maximize cost savings from large scale energy projects. (CNBC)
Policy shifts and falling costs are leading to strong growth in energy storage around the U.S. (GreenBiz)
• The new CEO of New York’s grid operator says we are “on the cusp of the most radical and exciting set of changes in this industry in the 100 years that we’ve had a power grid.” (Albany Times Union)

UTILITIES: A growing number of states are exploring performance-based ratemaking that ties utility revenue to performance rather than capital investments. (Greentech Media)

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POLITICS: Former Colorado governor and Democratic presidential candidate John Hickenlooper releases a climate plan and says the Green New Deal “might trigger a backlash that dooms the fight against climate change.” (Grist)

COMMENTARY:
• In states like Iowa and Michigan, major utilities have attempted to mislead the public over solar net metering policies through the media, a critic says. (Media Matters for America)
• California lawmakers are turning the state’s cap-and-trade program into the slush fund critics have long feared, an editorial board writes. (Los Angeles Times)
“Do Democrats really need a climate debate, or can climate change be adequately addressed in other policy discussions?” (Vox)

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