U.S. Energy News

Survey: Utilities will keep abandoning coal, despite Trump’s policies

COAL: Most electric utilities have no plans to reverse their years-long shift away from coal power, according to a survey of 32 utilities that operate in states which sued to block the Clean Power Plan. (Reuters)

ALSO:
• Coal giant Peabody Energy emerges from Chapter 11 bankruptcy and resumes trading on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reuters)
• A House committee will meet on Wednesday to consider a bill that would use federal funds to boost economic activity in coal country. (The Hill)
• A union for government employees, which includes EPA workers, calls President Trump’s anti-climate executive order an “assault” on community health. (Huffington Post)
• A Mississippi coal-fired power plant that’s designed to capture 65 percent of the carbon dioxide it emits will need another month and another $99 million to finish the $7.2 billion project. (Associated Press)

CARBON TAX: The White House says it isn’t considering the creation of a carbon tax, hours after a spokesperson said the opposite. (Washington Post)

CLIMATE: At least two major U.S. coal companies are asking the Trump administration to keep the country in the Paris Climate Agreement, saying it will give negotiators a chance to advocate for coal in the global energy mix. (Reuters)

SOLAR:
• The Indiana House passes a bill that would effectively eliminate residential net metering by reducing retail rates over a five-year period. (PV-Tech)
• A European solar developer is expanding into the U.S. with a plan to pair solar with storage, using a model that includes financing and operating its own solar power plants. (Greentech Media)
• Honolulu, Hawaii, has the most solar energy installations per capita in the U.S., according to a new report. (Pacific Business News)
• Solar advocates say an Iowa utility’s proposal for a new distributed-generation tariff would diminish solar in the state. (Midwest Energy News)

WIND:
• A multi-state utility based in Oregon unveils a plan to add 1,100 megawatts of new wind power capacity by the end of 2020, as part of a long-term goal to retire about 3,600 megawatts of coal-fired power plants by 2036. (Portland Business Journal, Greentech Media)
• In Iowa, wind farms are bringing a financial boost to farmers, creating new jobs and generating county tax revenue. (Mother Jones)
• A report last month shows property values in Michigan have jumped since 2008 in areas where the most wind development has taken place, and some analysts say it’s not a coincidence. (Midwest Energy News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Tesla shares reach an all-time high, surpassing Ford as the country’s second most valuable car company. (CNBC, Reuters)
• The Chief Technology Officer of Lucid Motors discusses the future of the electric car company, saying he doesn’t view their latest car as a “Tesla killer.” (The Motley Fool)
• Utah’s Supreme Court blocks Tesla from selling new cars in the state, citing a law that bars car manufacturers from owning dealerships. (Associated Press)

GRID: During a Senate committee hearing, the head of a North American grid operators group tells lawmakers the risk of a major cyber attack against the nation’s power grid is “at an all time high.” (FuelFix)

NUCLEAR: Two groups file petitions to block the implementation of an Illinois law that would give zero emission credits to two nuclear plants, alleging it would have “a disruptive effect on energy auctions” and raise electricity prices. (Utility Dive)

NATURAL GAS: A group of students, faculty and staff says Duke University’s proposed new campus power plant should be fueled from methane from hog waste, not natural gas. (Southeast Energy News)

COMMENTARY:
• To combat climate change, people should start talking about health, jobs and national security – not the environment – says the chair of Stanford’s Department of Earth System Science. (Scientific American) 
• The Trump administration’s anti-climate executive order ignores basic science and dismisses the fact that half of Americans worry “a great deal” about climate change, says a Democratic strategist and CNN political commentator. (The Hill)

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