U.S. Energy News

Top economists call for carbon tax

CARBON TAX: Top economists from across the political spectrum call for a carbon tax as the best way to address climate change. (Washington Post)

SHUTDOWN:
• The chairman of the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee says the Interior Department should not allow employees to continue work on oil and gas permitting and leasing during the government shutdown. (Associated Press)
• The government shutdown’s impact on wind and solar has been minimal so far, but that could change depending on how long it lasts. (Greentech Media)

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SOLAR:
Google will power two data centers with solar projects totaling 413 MW in Alabama and Tennessee. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)
• Two congressmen raise concerns that a Chinese manufacturer’s solar panels could be sleeper agents for disrupting the U.S. electric grid. (Fortune)
• Whether 400 megawatts of solar is needed is the key question for state regulators considering an AEP proposal in southern Ohio. (Energy News Network)
• Xcel Energy’s Minnesota community solar program saw a three-fold increase in applications last year despite a lower reimbursement rate. (Energy News Network)

WIND: A climate change consortium on Cape Cod endorses Vineyard Wind, a proposed 800 MW wind farm off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. (CapeCod.com)

GRID: An Illinois court blocks the release of a report outlining a roadmap for the state’s future electric grid until a lawsuit over who was invited and allowed into study meetings is resolved. (Energy News Network)

COAL ASH: Sixteen coal ash pits in Texas are leaking contaminants into groundwater, according to a report by the Environmental Integrity Project. (Reuters)

PIPELINES:
A crucial computer modeling system that would help officials respond to an oil spill in Michigan’s Straits of Mackinac is offline due to the government shutdown. (MLive)
• An extended public comment period means the Mountain Valley Pipeline has to wait longer for a permit to dig through streams and wetlands in West Virginia. (Roanoke Times)

POLITICS:
Senate Democrats challenge acting EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler during his confirmation hearing over his support for rolling back vehicle emission standards and the Clean Power Plan. (RTO Insider)
• A Virginia congressman who helped advance offshore wind in the state legislature pushes Congress to keep up with states on clean energy. (Energy News Network)

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CLIMATE: Idaho’s newly-sworn in Republican governor says climate change is real and “reversing it is going to be a big darn job.” (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY:
• Bitcoin as big oil: A writer warns that Bitcoin and its environmental footprint will be the next bad guy in the fight against climate change. (The Guardian)
• Environmental advocates say Enbridge’s Line 3 replacement project in Minnesota and a planned tunnel for Line 5 in Michigan are unnecessary and bring environmental risk. (MinnPost, Bridge Magazine)
• Wind farms and birds can coexist peacefully as new technology makes turbines safer for flying creatures, according to a climate group. (Climate Reality Project)

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