U.S. Energy News

Trump EPA expected to roll back coal ash regulations

COAL ASH: The Trump administration is expected to roll back an Obama-era regulation designed to limit the leaking of heavy metals like arsenic, lead and mercury from coal ash into water supplies. (New York Times)

EMISSIONS:
General Motors, Toyota, and other automakers back President Trump in two additional lawsuits to bar California from setting tailpipe emissions standards. (Reuters)
The Trump administration reportedly is backing off plans to freeze Obama-era auto emissions standards and could require automakers to implement annual efficiency increases of 1.5%. (Wall Street Journal)
• The automakers siding with the Trump administration in a fight over California emission standards risk political and consumer backlash. (Washington Post)

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PIPELINES: The Keystone Pipeline leaks 383,000 gallons of crude oil in North Dakota, the pipeline’s second major spill in two years. (Washington Post)

GRID: A first-of-its-kind cyberattack targeted solar and wind farms this spring and briefly cut contact to dozens of facilities, documents reveal. (E&E News)

WIND:
The U.S. has surpassed 100 GW of wind energy capacity, second in the world following China, according to an industry group’s report. (Greentech Media)
Spending on wind power operations and maintenance is expected to surge as new wind farms are built before federal tax credits expire. (Houston Chronicle)

SOLAR:
• A solar-plus-storage pilot at Southern Illinois University will give students and first responders hands-on experience while introducing the technology in a coal-heavy region of the state. (Energy News Network)
• A large-scale renewable developer says it will offload five solar projects to a branch of SoftBank that owns 5 GW of clean energy projects. (Greentech Media)

TRANSPORTATION: The University of Virginia is assessing how electric cargo bikes could replace diesel-fueled maintenance vehicles. (Energy News Network)

NUCLEAR:
• Exelon’s CEO says Illinois lawmakers need to take action by next spring to keep four of its nuclear plants from closing. (E&E News, subscription)
Nuclear regulators issue a final environmental review that moves Florida Power & Light closer to operating units at a nuclear plant for 80 years. (Utility Dive)

CLIMATE:
• A Knoxville, Tennessee, mayoral candidate is running on a platform focused on renewable energy and climate change. (E&E News, subscription)
• Providence, Rhode Island’s climate plan can provide a template for other cities on how to incorporate environmental justice. (Grist)
• The Republican leader of the Wisconsin Assembly says climate change is “probably” real but criticizes a newly formed state climate change task force. (Associated Press)

OIL & GAS:
A BLM study finds a minimal impact from fracking on public lands in California and could revive drilling after a two-year moratorium. (E&E News, subscription)
• The world’s biggest publicly traded oil and gas companies would have to cut production by roughly a third by 2040 to meet Paris climate deal goals. (Axios)
• Public health advocates say an industry-supported study that extolls lower emissions while natural gas production in Pennsylvania has soared mischaracterizes government data used in the report. (DeSmog)
Pollution from Louisiana’s oil and gas industry, which has historically affected poor communities of color, also impacts wealthy white communities living near facilities. (ProPublica, Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate)

COAL:
Reclaiming abandoned mine lands could be a key factor in Appalachia’s transition from coal, according to a report from regional advocates. (WVPB)
• Murray Energy’s bankruptcy filings contradict former CEO Bob Murray’s claims that coal is cheaper than renewables. (E&E News, subscription)

TECHNOLOGY: Highlighting the collapse of Silicon Valley solar manufacturer Solyndra, a new analysis says embracing such failures will help fund climate-saving technology. (Quartz)

COMMENTARY:
• Big utilities have resorted to misleading studies and bad science to deter distributed solar, say two clean energy advocates. (Utility Dive)
• The electric utility industry continues to move away from coal despite President Trump’s promises to bring it back, a columnist writes. (Bloomberg)
• A columnist says Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is undaunted in her climate change lawsuit versus ExxonMobil despite repeated roadblocks set up by the company. (Boston Globe)

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