U.S. Energy News

Supreme Court rejects bid to block EPA mercury rules

EPA: The Supreme Court rejects a bid by 20 states to block EPA rules governing mercury and other toxic pollutants. (Reuters)

ALSO:
• The Supreme Court’s stay on the rules leaves an uncertain future for clean-energy investment. (Utility Dive)
• A potential nominee to fill the vacant seat has sided against the Obama Administration on past energy and environmental cases. (Greenwire)

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PIPELINES:
• New York advocates sue FERC, claiming fees collected from energy companies create a conflict of interest for the agency as it approves pipelines. (Albany Times Union)
• The U.S. Senate approves new pipeline safety legislation. (The Hill)

POLICY: Advocates say polling shows broad, bipartisan support for a proposed 25 percent renewable energy standard in Maryland. (Maryland Reporter)

SOLAR:
• A bill in Oregon, overshadowed by the state’s landmark climate legislation, provides new incentives for utility-scale solar. (Portland Business Journal)
• Opponents of a proposed amendment to the Florida’s Constitution backed by utilities call it a “sneaky maneuver” to defeat rooftop solar. (Florida Politics)
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley signs new coal ash disposal restrictions into law as a company prepares to contest them in court. (The State / Greenville Online)

UTILITIES:
• An Arizona utility is planning for another 1.1 GW of new renewable capacity by 2030. (PV Tech)
• Observers see little chance of the Exelon-Pepco merger moving forward. (RTO Insider)
• Texas regulators consider whether to allow utilities to reclassify as “real estate investment trusts,” a scheme critics say will transfer millions of dollars from ratepayers to shareholders. (Houston Public Media)

NUCLEAR:
• The operator of a New York power plant says a three-day shutdown in December was apparently caused by a bird pooping on a power line. (Associated Press)
• Engineers urge federal regulators to address a design flaw they say puts emergency cooling systems at risk. (Reuters)
• Federal regulators say the operator of a Michigan nuclear power plant did not properly report a 2013 leak at the site. (MLive)

COAL: A West Virginia judge orders a coal company to provide clean water for 27 families whose wells have been contaminated by mining activity. (Beckley Register-Herald)

OIL AND GAS:
• The divide over whether to authorize drilling off the mid- and lower-Atlantic Coast grows sharper and louder.(The New York Times)
Oklahoma officials announce another $235 million in budget cuts amid the sharp drop in oil and gas prices. (Associated Press)

AUBREY McCLENDON:
• The late oil and gas CEO faced increasing pressure from federal bid-rigging charges and the plunge in commodity prices, but he still made deals until the end. (New York Times)
Federal authorities seek to drop the indictment following McClendon’s death in a one-car crash. Meanwhile, an Oklahoma landowner filed a class-action lawsuit against McClendon’s former company. (Associated Press)
McClendon’s indictment may signal further crackdowns on the industry. (Houston Business Journal)

TRANSMISSION: A Texas utility seeks a $77 million transmission expansion to accommodate more wind power. (Amarillo Globe-News)

COMMENTARY:
• A proposal to drop net metering in Maine is a “recipe for disaster.” (CleanTechnica)
• How Warren Buffett’s utilities pose a unique threat to solar. (Bloomberg)
• New York’s REV process shows utilities and regulators how to manage change. (Utility Dive)
• How can we drop coal without sending miners to the unemployment line? (Los Angeles Times)

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