U.S. Energy News

Trump administration moves to weaken fuel efficiency standards

REGULATION: The EPA says it will ease Obama-era fuel efficiency standards, challenging California’s right to set its own air pollution rules. (Reuters, New York Times)

ALSO:
California officials vow to fight the Trump administration’s plan to weaken fuel efficiency standards, calling it “a politically motivated effort … to demolish the nation’s clean car program.” (Greentech Media, The Hill)
The proposal to weaken fuel efficiency standards will hurt carmakers like Tesla, which are already highly efficiency and ahead of schedule to meet efficiency targets. (Vox)

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GRID: Regional grid operator PJM tells the Department of Energy there is “no immediate threat” to grid reliability if FirstEnergy nuclear and coal plants close. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

BIOGAS: A new North Carolina project is helping Duke Energy meet a mandate to generate a small portion of its power from pig waste, with developers hoping it can serve as a model for others across rural America. (Southeast Energy News)

NUCLEAR: Minnesota is the latest front in a national debate around large nuclear plants and who should pay to keep them operating. (Greentech Media)

UTILITIES:
Americans’ concerns about energy affordability and access are near an all-time low, according to a new poll. (The Hill)
The clean energy unit of NextEra Energy is selling its renewables portfolio in Canada in a $1.27 billion deal. (Electric Power & Light)

RENEWABLES:
PACE clean energy loan programs have surged in popularity, but some are concerned about lending standards and consumer protections. (Governing)
How a California climate hawk altered his home to run completely off clean energy, including tossing appliances that consume natural gas. (Greentech Media)

WIND:
• Eversource Energy and a Danish company propose to build a 200 megawatt wind farm that would be the first offshore wind project to serve Connecticut. (New Haven Register)
• A developer files plans for a 70 megawatt wind project in northeastern Iowa. (Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier)

SOLAR:
A Charleston, South Carolina, solar company wants to build 17 solar farms in the state. (SC Now)
The DOE has been steadily chipping away at the agency’s “SunShot Initiative” program. (E&E News)

OIL & GAS:
West Virginia’s new co-tenancy law is expected to aid natural gas development, but exactly how significant its impact will be remains unclear. (Natural Gas Intel)
The oil and gas boom in the Permian Basin is straining the electricity grid that serves West Texas. (Houston Chronicle)
Legislation in Congress would weaken regulations that protect marine mammals from seismic blasts used to locate oil and gas. (Los Angeles Times)

PIPELINES:
Sunoco offers to temporarily relocate residents while it conducts an investigation into sinkholes that opened as a result of the Mariner East 2 pipeline project. (StateImpact Pennsylvania)
A second tree-sit protest over the Mountain Valley Pipeline begins in Virginia, following a weeks-long tree sit in West Virginia. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
A cyber attack temporarily shuts down the electronic communication system used by a major U.S. pipeline company based in Dallas. (Bloomberg)

COAL: Southeastern Wisconsin residents remain concerned over exposure to coal dust from a nearby We Energies plant as the utility agrees to meet with them. (Midwest Energy News)

POLITICS: The Trump administration sues California in federal court over a law that lets the state decide when and how federal lands are sold, which could interfere with the administration’s plans to increase oil and gas drilling. (The Hill)

EPA: The EPA approved a pipeline-expansion project for Enbridge while the agency’s administrator, Scott Pruitt, was renting a condominium from the wife of one of the company’s lobbyists. (New York Times)

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CLIMATE: Why a Trump administration proposal to weaken fuel efficiency standards would be more damaging for the climate than rolling back the Clean Power Plan. (InsideClimate News)

COMMENTARY:
Full-time drivers for ride-sharing companies like Lyft and Uber would save an average of $5,200 per year by driving an electric vehicle, says an expert for Rocky Mountain Institute’s mobility team. (Greentech Media)
There’s little evidence that automakers are in favor of an EPA plan to weaken vehicle efficiency standards, writes the New York Times editorial board.
A new study says New Yorkers could save $7 billion on their energy bills with tougher efficiency standards. (Natural Resources Defense Council)

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