U.S. Energy News

Study: Natural gas leaks form a methane hot spot in the Southwest

EMISSIONS:
• Scientists say a puzzling concentration of methane over the Southwest appears to come mostly from leaks in natural gas production. (Associated Press)
• The success of the nine-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative shows that trading carbon allowances won’t bankrupt the utility sector or shortchange customers, a lesson that will be necessary if the Clean Power Plan goes into effect. (Greentech Media)

ENERGY EFFICIENCY: An Alaskan village is replacing its old power system with a high-tech powerhouse that better utilizes excess wind power. (Alaska Dispatch News)

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UTILITIES:
A group wants the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to investigate a utility for “manipulating” corporate documents in an effort to recoup $1.4 million from ratepayers on upgrades it made to a Michigan coal plant. (Midwest Energy News)
• An Xcel Energy pilot program will charge Colorado customers more for electricity used during high-demand periods. (Denver Post)

PIPELINES:
• The Obama administration issues new rules requiring that pipeline operators “purge all combustibles and seal any facilities left in place” before abandoning a pipeline. (The Hill)
• Developers of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline are suing in federal court to stop protesters near an American Indian reservation in North Dakota from interfering with the project. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR: A state-by-state look at the future of nuclear energy in the Midwest. (Midwest Energy News)

POLLUTION: Maine files a new lawsuit seeking $413,433 from the federal government to help clean up decades-old pollution at oil storage facilities. (Associated Press)

COAL:
• An unearthed presentation shows that the coal industry is “adopting the Big Tobacco playbook.” (New York Times)
• A new study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland finds laid-off coal miners are “beginning to bow to the inevitable and train for jobs in other industries.” (Bloomberg)

SOLAR:
• After an ballot measure effort fails, Nevada solar advocates turn to the legislature with a proposal to grandfather existing solar customers into the state’s previous net metering rates. (Associated Press)
• Montana’s Land Board approves the lease of 450 acres near the Billings airport for a possible solar development that would produce 70 megawatts of power. (Associated Press)
• The rooftop solar industry in Oahu, Hawaii, is in a tailspin since state regulators ended a popular net energy metering program. (Pacific Business News)
• Tensions rise as plans for large solar arrays threaten tortoises in the California desert. (Washington Post)
• A demonstration project brings solar power to a low-income neighborhood in Buffalo, New York. (Buffalo News)
• A Virginia non-profit is petitioning lawmakers to improve the state’s restrictive solar policies. (Southeast Energy News)

RENEWABLE ENERGY: Power utility Xcel Energy reaches a settlement agreement that would create a community solar program and add more renewable energy to its portfolio in Colorado. (Denver Business Journal)

CLIMATE CHANGE: A group of attorneys general wants a House chairman to end his investigation into state probes of whether Exxon Mobil lied to the public about its climate change knowledge. (The Hill)

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ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Fears over electric car batteries running out are largely unfounded, as 87 percent of the vehicles on U.S. roads could be replaced by electric cars, according to a new study. (CarbonBrief/Bloomberg)

COMMENTARY: Elon Musk’s plan to merge Tesla with SolarCity will probably work, and that’s a good thing. (Huffington Post)

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