U.S. Energy News

Trump budget proposal would cut funding for EPA, clean energy

FEDERAL BUDGET:
• The Trump administration wants to cut funding for the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy by 66 percent in 2019, while restoring money for carbon capture and storage. (Washington Post)
• The budget proposal would reduce EPA funding by 23 percent and slash funding for clean energy and climate change programs.  (Washington Post, Greentech Media)

PIPELINES: Trump’s new infrastructure plan would speed up permitting for natural gas pipelines by expediting environmental reviews and giving his interior secretary the authority to approve pipelines that cross national parks. (Reuters)

METHANE: The Trump administration moves to repeal an Obama-era regulation that restricts methane emissions from oil and gas production on federal lands. (New York Times)

COAL: Utah lawmakers back a plan to sue California over rules that require California utilities to pay an extra $15 per megawatt hour to buy power from a Utah coal plant, calling the requirement an unconstitutional “war on Utah coal.” (Associated Press)

SOLAR:
• First Solar plans to build a 65-megawatt solar plant in Arizona, which will be paired with a massive battery capable of delivering 50 megawatts of power. (Arizona Republic)
• New Mexico’s Senate approves a tax credit that would offset income taxes for people who install small-scale rooftop solar systems on homes and small businesses. (Associated Press)
• Changes to Vermont’s net-metering policy are being blamed for the state’s 50 percent drop in solar installations last year. (PV Magazine)
• Utility companies across the country are increasing their reliance on solar energy and batteries, which could edge out natural gas in power markets. (Bloomberg)
• Florida Power & Light is using a new storage system that will increase the amount of the solar energy delivered to the grid by more than half a million kWh per year. (Solar Industry)

WIND: Nestle enters into an agreement with a renewable energy company to power five of its facilities in southeastern Pennsylvania using wind energy. (The Morning Call)

GEOTHERMAL: Google’s Dandelion startup is trying to expand the geothermal home heating market by lowering the prices, and a new federal tax credit approved by Congress could help make it more competitive. (InsideClimate News)

NUCLEAR: Environmental groups file a lawsuit claiming Georgia regulators didn’t follow their own rules when they decided to continue construction at the long-delayed, significantly over-budget Vogtle nuclear plant project. (WABE)

EFFICIENCY: It is unclear why a proposed update to Virginia’s residential building code is in administrative limbo following a consensus from homebuilders and energy efficiency advocates. (Southeast Energy News)

GRID: The Trump administration’s infrastructure plan advocates selling off several large electric transmission systems the federal government owns. (Electric Light & Power)

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CLIMATE: Cleveland sustainability officials are broadening their focus to include climate change adaptation and resiliency efforts, which they say can also provide economic development opportunities. (Midwest Energy News)

COMMENTARY:
• The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) should discuss more ways to promote rooftop solar and storage at its annual meeting this week, according to a group of solar companies and advocates. (Utility Dive)
• The terminology we use to talk about wholesale markets favors conventional fuel-based generation and contains hidden biases against effective market design and clean energy, say power sector transformation experts for America’s Power Plan. (Greentech Media)

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