U.S. Energy News

Surprise inspections reveal safety problems at offshore drilling sites

OFFSHORE DRILLING:
• Surprise inspections conducted at offshore platforms and drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico last week revealed serious safety problems. (New York Times)
• Native American and conservation groups sue the Trump administrations for endangering humpback whale populations by expanding offshore oil and gas drilling. (The Hill)

PIPELINES:
• Maryland regulators approve plans for a controversial natural gas pipeline that would run under the Potomac River. (Associated Press)
• Kayakers gather in Seattle to protest the expansion of Canada’s Kinder Morgan pipeline, which would add oil tankers to the state’s waters. (Seattle Times, Common Dreams)
• Kentucky regulators issue Louisville Gas and Electric a $395,000 fine, the highest ever in a natural gas safety case, for a 2014 pipeline break that injured two workers. (Courier-Journal)
• An Alaskan pipeline company faces about 22 million cyberattacks per day, and that number has roughly doubled over five years. (Associated Press)

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COAL:
• Southern Illinois farmers could lose their land as a coal mine expands and makes claims on a four-decade-old agreement between a government utility and local landowners. (Midwest Energy News)
• Several states have not set aside enough money to clean up former coal mines, according to data compiled and published for the first time. (Climate Home News)

FRACKING: People who live near fracking sites experienced increased rates of cancer, respiratory problems and impaired development among newborns, according to a recent study. (Public News Service)

OIL & GAS: The Bureau of Land Management wants some employees to wear “vision cards” with an image of an oil rig on one side and cattle ranching on the other. (Outside)

TECHNOLOGY:
• Inventors and entrepreneurs show off new clean energy concepts at the annual Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) conference in Washington, D.C. (New York Times).
• Scientists at Mississippi State University are developing a technology that identifies pipeline leaks as soon as failure begins. (phys.org)

POLITICS: Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell describes “bipartisan anger” towards House lawmakers for standing in the way of clean energy policies. (Greentech Media)

POLICY: Iowa lawmakers advance a bill before before a crucial deadline that would gut utility funding for energy efficiency and possibly lead to fees on solar customers. (Midwest Energy News)

EPA: EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt tells a group of conservatives that he plans to restrict the agency’s use of science in rulemakings. (E&E News)

SOLAR:
• Solar panel manufacturers faced a Friday deadline to apply for exemptions from new solar import tariffs that went into effect last month. (Bloomberg)
• A Canadian company wants to turn a former a coal mining site into one of Washington’s largest solar projects. (Associated Press)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A new study explores the viability of using electric vehicle batteries as a grid recourse. (Greentech Media)

NUCLEAR:
• The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission says Russian government hacking did not compromise the country’s commercial nuclear power plants. (Associated Press)
• A French multinational corporation is working with a Dallas company to license a nuclear waste storage site in West Texas, which would store spent fuel rods from power plants. (Associated Press)

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UTILITIES: SCE&G says it needs to build a new power plant, likely natural gas, within five years to keep up with rising electricity demand following the failed Summer nuclear plant project. (Post & Courier)

COMMENTARY:
• Federal lawmakers should take notice of the “all of the above” energy model being practiced by several Western states, says the energy policy director for the American Legislative Exchange Council. (The Hill)
• President Trump’s decision to fire Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is bad for U.S. climate change policy, says the director of the Harvard Environmental Economics Program. (PBS News Hour)

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