U.S. Energy News

Study: Housing policy driving inequality in energy bills

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ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: Residents in poorer, predominantly white neighborhoods are less energy-cost burdened than people in predominantly minority neighborhoods of similar economic status due largely to federal housing policies, according to a recent study. (CityLab)

TRANSPORTATION:
Environmental groups file a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s effort to block 14 states from regulating their own vehicle emissions standards. (The Hill)
Minnesota’s plan to spend Volkswagen settlement funds to reduce air pollution underscores the challenge of targeting transportation emissions. (MinnPost)

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SOLAR: Researchers find that political affiliation isn’t driving residential solar installations, though residents who install solar are more likely to vote in elections, potentially for clean energy policies. (Grist)

POWER PLANTS: 
The U.S. EPA estimates that easing regulations on pollutant discharges from power plants could save utilities more than $300 million, though critics say it would eliminate public health benefits. (Utility Dive)
• It’s unclear whether President Trump’s pick for Energy Secretary will be able to successfully advance plans to subsidize coal and nuclear plants after Rick Perry failed to do so. (E&E News, subscription)

PIPELINES: Police and local authorities prepare a coordinated response to an expected new wave of protests against the Keystone XL pipeline, referring to some demonstrators as potential “domestic terrorism” threats. (The Guardian)

OIL & GAS:
More than 20 states and cities prepare to file a major lawsuit against the Trump administration’s effort to roll back methane regulations for the oil and gas sector. (E&E News, subscription)
Environmentalists criticise the first report of New Mexico’s Climate Change Task Force, saying it contains no plan to move the third-largest oil producing state away from oil and gas production. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)
Pennsylvania will spend $3 million on two studies to examine the health effects of fracking after months of activism by residents affected by a rare form of cancer. (Associated Press)

BIOFUELS: The White House has reportedly asked for input from Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley to boost the ethanol market in 2020. (Reuters)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
Connecticut officials consider strategies to make sure low-income communities aren’t left out of a plan to boost electric vehicle adoption in the state. (Energy News Network)
• Tesla CEO Elon Musk says the company has received 200,000 orders for its recently unveiled electric truck. (Reuters)

CLIMATE:
Former South Carolina Rep. Bob Inglis is on a mission to convince fellow conservatives to support climate action. (Energy News Network)
Climate protesters storm the field at a Yale-Harvard football game, disrupting the game for 40 minutes as they demand both schools divest from fossil fuel. (New Haven Register) 

NUCLEAR: South Carolina lawmakers agreed to hire a consumer advocate to represent ratepayers on the abandoned V.C. Summer nuclear project — but 18 months later, the position isn’t filled. (Associated Press)

BIOGAS: Smithfield Foods and Dominion Energy form a partnership to expand their efforts to turn pig manure into renewable natural gas. (NPR)

UTILITIES: The city of Boulder, Colorado, offers almost $94 million to Xcel Energy for the company’s electric utility assets necessary to form a municipal utility. (Denver Post)

GRID: A report says the three grid operators managing the Northeast waste $1.4 billion annually paying for excess capacity. (Utility Dive)

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COAL: The next opportunity for Congress to vote on a bill to fund miners’ pensions and healthcare will be just before Christmas. (WOWK)

COMMENTARY:
• Federal corn ethanol mandates have been an environmental and social failure and may be worse for the climate than fossil fuels, says a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. (The Atlantic)
A California fuel researcher says converting renewable electricity to hydrogen will play an important role in fighting climate change. (USA Today)

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