U.S. Energy News

SunPower plans to buy SolarWorld to avoid paying import tariffs

SOLAR: SunPower plans to acquire Oregon-based rival SolarWorld Americas to help it avoid paying tariffs on imported solar panels. (Greentech Media)

ALSO:
One of Tesla’s first solar roof customers praises the new system. (Greentech Media)
• Michigan regulators adopt a program to replace net metering that critics call “complicated, unfair and costly.” (Midwest Energy News)
• The Trump administration wants to undo an Obama-era plan that protects part of the California desert from solar and wind development. (Desert Sun)

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WIND: Advocates in Massachusetts say offshore wind is not being taken seriously enough as a way to meet the state’s clean energy targets. (Northeast Energy News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
California’s occupational safety agency is probing Tesla after reports that it concealed worker injuries at its Fremont car factory. (Reuters)
Volkswagen’s Electrify America will install EV charging stations at over 100 Walmart stores in 34 states. (Reuters)

GRID: A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee approves a series of bills designed to protect U.S. power grids from cyber attacks. (The Hill)

TRANSMISSION: The Interior Department approves two transmission line routes in southwestern Idaho, completing a decade-old project that was delayed by landowners and environmentalists. (Associated Press)

UTILITIES: Xcel Energy may soon begin using drones to check transmission lines near Denver after gaining unprecedented approval from the FAA to operate the machines beyond line of sight. (Power Engineering)

OIL & GAS:
Noise from oil and gas drilling causes chronic stress in songbirds, according to a recent study. (Scientific American)
An industry trade group says the U.S. can’t stay competitive in the offshore oil and gas market without reduced royalty rates, especially in the Gulf of Mexico. (UPI)
A Texas oil and gas regulator says the biggest threat to industry are millenials who have been brainwashed into thinking fossil fuels are bad for the environment. (Texas Tribune)

FRACKING: The U.S. fracking industry is plagued by heavy borrowing, low returns and bankruptcies, an investigation finds. (DeSmog Blog)

PIPELINES:
• A dozen Virginia Democratic senators criticize police for their treatment of a pipeline protester in a tree, who was cut off from food and water.  (Associated Press)
• House lawmakers raise concerns about FERC’s pipeline approval processes, including the lack of public hearings over the Mountain Valley Pipeline. (Natural Gas Intel)
• A federal judge rejects a request by tribes to be more involved in an environmental review of the Dakota Access pipeline. (Associated Press)

POLLUTION: Over 40 percent of Americans live in counties with unsafe levels of ozone or particulate pollution, according to a report from the American Lung Association. (Christian Science Monitor)

REGULATION: The Trump administration has been using memos to weaken enforcement of clean air standards, which opponents say could significantly increase levels of airborne mercury, benzene and nitrogen oxides. (The Hill)

NUCLEAR: Green groups are conflicted over the closure of nuclear power plants. (New York Times)

POLITICS: Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship asks a federal judge to throw out his criminal mine safety conviction less than three weeks before the primary election. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

EPA:
A group of 170 U.S. lawmakers sign a resolution calling for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to resign immediately. (The Hill)
More than 30 organizations, including the NAACP, run a full-page newspaper ad calling for Scott Pruitt to resign. (The Hill)

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CLIMATE: The degradation of soil caused by agricultural practices has been a major contributor to climate change, and some scientists want to remove CO2 from the atmosphere by restoring the land. (New York Times)

COMMENTARY:
Energy efficiency should be accessible to everyone, especially low-income New Yorkers and families who live in rental housing, say members of an energy efficiency coalition. (Energy News Network)
An EPA climate report shows how the Trump administration contradicts itself when it comes to energy and climate change. (Axios)

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