U.S. Energy News

Texas oil companies bankroll Washington carbon tax opposition

OIL & GAS: U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says natural gas can provide “economic leverage” for dealing with foreign adversaries. (StateImpact Pennsylvania)

ALSO:
• Texas oil companies spend more than $17 million on a campaign opposing a carbon tax in Washington state. (Houston Chronicle)
• Who’s really behind the groups supporting and opposing a Colorado proposal to increase drilling setbacks? (Westword)

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POWER PLANTS: The U.S. EPA completes a proposal to weaken regulations on mercury emissions from power plants. (Washington Post)

COAL ASH: Arsenic levels in a North Carolina river are nearly 18 times higher than the state safety standard for drinking water after Duke Energy’s coal ash spill, two environmental organizations say. (News & Observer)

OFFSHORE DRILLING: The Trump administration will ease “burdensome” offshore oil and gas drilling rules, which environmental groups say could lead to an event worse than Deepwater Horizon. (Associated Press)

PIPELINES:
• Judges hear arguments for and against Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast Pipeline permits in a packed Virginia courtroom. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• The U.S. Forest Service wants to streamline permitting for oil and gas development in 44 national forests. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

WIND:
Developers are reviving plans for a $140 million wind project in Maine, after collecting more information on bird migration. (The Ellsworth American)
New York agrees to work with Danish energy experts on cost-saving strategies for adding $2.1 billion of offshore wind power. (Rockland/Westchester Journal News)

SOLAR: AEP’s proposed 400 MW solar project would “break the established regulatory mold in Ohio” and could serve as a template for other projects in the region. (InsideClimate News)

MICROGRIDS: Investing in microgrids as a form of insurance for resilience and reliability is a fledgling movement in the Midwest. (Energy News Network)

ADVOCACY:
In a Q&A, the board president of a Rhode Island nonprofit explains why the group is challenging the state’s Department of Environmental Management over its approach to fossil fuels. (Energy News Network)
Massachusetts clean energy supporters hope a recent court ruling will close the door on fossil fuel electricity in the state. (Energy News Network)

EFFICIENCY: Vermont’s Public Utility Commission launches an investigation to ensure the state’s energy efficiency programs are operating in “the most optimal way.” (VT Digger)

NUCLEAR:
• Vogtle nuclear plant owners agreed to continue the project but did little to address its rising costs. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
• A ratings agency downgrades the credit of several utilities in Florida, Georgia and Alabama with financial ties to the Vogtle nuclear plant. (Florida  Times-Union)

CARBON:
The U.S. Department of Energy announces up to $30 million in funding for research into carbon capture technologies. (Utility Dive)
The U.S. and Minnesota price carbon emissions around $40 a ton, which researchers say is too low. (Minnesota Public Radio)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: California regulators are considering a rule requiring local transit agencies to transition to electric bus fleets over the next 20 years. (Mercury News)

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TRANSPORTATION: California air quality officials rule that fuel makers must cut their product’s carbon intensity by 20 percent by 2030, a move meant to encourage the adoption of cleaner alternative fuels. (San Francisco Chronicle)

COMMENTARY:
• David Roberts examines the key differences between Washington’s current plan to impose a carbon fee and its previous unsuccessful effort to pass a carbon tax. (Vox)
• Burning trash can harm residents’ health and “creates enormous amounts of toxic pollution and greenhouse gases,” says an opponent of a proposed waste-to-energy plant in Baltimore. (Baltimore Sun)

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