U.S. Energy News

Study finds ‘substantial’ health benefits from renewable mandates

COAL: A lawsuit brought by 22 states and seven cities challenging the U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan rollback is the most significant test yet of President Trump’s efforts to eliminate or weaken Obama-era climate rules. (New York Times)

ALSO: The IRS challenges whether Fidelity Investments can claim tax credits for investing in chemically treated coal at three South Carolina plants. (Reuters) 

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RENEWABLES:
• A new peer-reviewed study finds substantial health benefits in Rust Belt states when utilities are required to use more renewable energy. (Axios)
• Meteorologists at a forum in New York discuss how weather forecasts help utilities estimate wind and solar energy generation. (Albany Times Union)

GRID:
• Texas’ grid operator lifts an emergency alert but urges people to continue conserving power on the fifth day of a triple-digit heat wave. (KXAN-TV)
• After several days of record electricity use, Texas’ heat wave caused prices to spike to $9,000 per megawatt-hour on Tuesday. (E&E News)
• In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, efforts to rebuild Puerto Rico’s electrical system offers lessons for boosting resilience. (Ensia)

STORAGE:
• Stanford University develops a saltwater battery that could offer emissions-free power to coastal wastewater treatment plants. (E&E News)
• A developer is ready to build a pumped hydro storage facility in Montana but needs to find a customer before breaking ground. (Greentech Media)
A new Texas law allows municipal utilities and electric cooperatives to own energy storage facilities without registering as a power generator. (Utility Dive) 

UTILITIES:
• An aggressive strategy of building wind and solar projects in states with renewable energy mandates helped make Florida’s NextEra Energy the world’s largest renewable developer. (E&E News)
• The declining costs of renewable energy help utilities play a key role in addressing climate change. (NPR)

OIL & GAS:
• The Trump administration is preparing a plan to end federal regulation of methane leaks from oil and gas facilities. (Bloomberg)
• A new Cornell University study blames shale drilling and fracking for a massive increase in methane emissions. (DeSmog Blog)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: North Carolina regulators are under pressure to deny Duke Energy’s $76 million plan to build the Southeast’s largest network of electric vehicle chargers. (E&E News)

OFFSHORE WIND: Federal regulators who ordered an additional study for Vineyard Wind say the review will run into 2020, well past the developers’ targeted construction launch. (Commonwealth Magazine)

SOLAR: The odds of extending a federal tax credit for solar have improved, but it still looks like an uphill battle, industry leaders say. (Greentech Media)

POLICY: A bipartisan group of Minnesota lawmakers works behind the scenes to craft clean energy policy they hope to pass next year. (Minnesota Public Radio)

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CLEAN TECH: Fuel cell maker Bloom Energy Corp. says clean energy laws in California and New York have contributed to its shares hitting all-time lows because its cells typically run on natural gas. (Bloomberg)

COMMENTARY:
• President Trump’s appointment of a former coal association president to a federal coal mine regulator is a familiar “fox guarding the henhouse” move, a media watchdog writes. (Media Matters)
• Outdated rules in competitive electricity markets too often give preference to older, less efficient, higher polluting power sources, write directors at a national business association that supports clean energy. (The Hill)

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