U.S. Energy News

Trump administration approves company’s request to drill in Arctic

OIL & GAS: The Trump administration approves an energy company’s application to drill oil exploration wells in the U.S. Arctic. (Associated Press)

• After weighing more than 250,000 public comments, a Washington state energy panel unanimously votes to tell the governor to reject a massive oil-by-rail terminal proposed along the Columbia River. (Associated Press)
• After failing to win EPA approval to regulate its oil and gas wastewater wells, Idaho’s Department of Water Resources asks the agency to take over regulation. (Associated Press)
• A majority vote on the Republican tax reform bill is the only thing standing between drillers and Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. (Vox)
• A Southern California gas company may be unable to provide enough natural gas for its customers this winter due to three critical pipelines being out of service. (Los Angeles Times)

• The EPA hears testimony during a two-day hearing on the Clean Power Plan in West Virginia. (Washington Post)
• Health groups and environmentalists criticize the Trump administration’s proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan, with a retired coal miner telling the EPA, “We’re dying, literally dying, for you to help us.” (Reuters, Huffington Post)

CLIMATE POLICY: Virginia faces obstacles, including possible court and legislative challenges, before the state could join a regional carbon emissions trading network. (Southeast Energy News)

• A federal agency says the recent Keystone pipeline spill was likely caused by damage during construction in 2008. (Associated Press)
• Once TransCanada finishes reviewing its next steps for the Keystone XL project, “it may be economics rather than politics that halts the pipeline.” (The Economist)
• FERC has issued more than 340 pipeline orders since reaching a quorum in August, angering many environmentalists who say they agency does not properly consider ecological impacts or need for new pipeline capacity. (Utility Dive)

• A Wisconsin utility announces plans to close a 1,200 MW coal plant in the second quarter of 2018. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
• During rate hearings in which Duke Energy is seeking approval to charge customers for the full cost of its coal ash cleanup, attorneys say the utility knew about coal ash issues in 1980s, but didn’t take action. (WRAL)

WIND: A California startup wants to use a form of 3-D printing to construct concrete turbine towers at project sites. (Greentech Media)

• Advocates say the first update in decades to the prices Michigan utilities must pay independent power producers will open the door for widespread solar development. (Midwest Energy News)
• Nearly 5,500 U.S. schools are now using solar power, which is expected to save school districts millions of dollars. (InsideClimate News)

• A roundup of notable energy storage projects built by or for regulated utilities this year. (Utility Dive)
• An Arizona utility selects California-based Sunverge Energy for a pilot project that will deploy a fleet of energy storage units, linked with Home Energy Management Systems. (Utility Dive)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Tesla’s prototype electric truck will require 1,600 kilowatts — or enough energy to power between 3,000 and 4,000 homes — each time it recharges, according to a recent study. (Quartz)

GRID: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders introduces a $146 billion proposal that would completely revamp the energy infrastructure of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands with renewable sources. (Grist)

NUCLEAR: A federal lawsuit that asserts Florida Power & Light violated the Clean Water Act by discharging contaminated water at its Turkey Point nuclear plant will go to trial after a judge denied the utility’s request to dismiss the case. (Palm Beach Post)

TRANSPORTATION: Atlanta-based United Parcel Service says it will buy 10 million gallon equivalents of renewable natural gas annually for its vehicle fleet. (Triad Business Journal)

REGULATION: FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee tells reporters that he is not conspiring to delay the swearing in of two new commission members, one of which is slated to be the new chairman. (The Hill, Utility Dive)

COMMENTARY: A columnist for the Los Angeles Times explains how coal giant Peabody Energy got immunity from a climate change lawsuit in California by filing for bankruptcy.

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