U.S. Energy News

Trump expected to relax offshore drilling safety rules

OIL & GAS: The Trump administration is expected to ease offshore drilling safety requirements put in place after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil explosion and spill. (Bloomberg)

ALSO:
• Texas lawmakers consider two bills that would make civil disobedience at oil and gas sites a second-degree felony. (Texas Observer)
Republican lawmakers say President Trump has pledged to not grant a Jones Act waiver that would have eased shipments of natural gas to Puerto Rico and the Northeast. (Bloomberg)
An industry group says improved technology means methane emissions are declining even as gas production increases; critics note the report relies on limited data. (TribLive)

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ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• A bill that would hike annual registration fees for plug-in vehicles stalls in the North Carolina legislature, while one that would fine drivers for blocking charging stations moves forward. (Energy News Network)
• Washington state lawmakers have revived a lapsed tax break for electric and hybrid vehicles. (Jefferson Public Radio)
General Motors asks a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a South Dakota resident claiming the automaker misled customers about electric vehicle range. (Sioux Falls Argus Leader)

EFFICIENCY:
• A collapse in marijuana prices is forcing growers to focus more on reducing energy consumption. (Utility Dive)
An advanced heat recovery system helped a Minnesota museum cut its carbon emissions by 16%. (Energy News Network)
• On-bill financing is helping utilities upgrade efficiency in homes at no upfront cost to customers. (GreenBiz)

RENEWABLES:
Northeast universities are designing programs to help fill the gap in qualified workers needed for clean energy technologies. (Energy News Network)
• An official with Minnesota-based General Mills makes the business case for running on 100 percent renewable power. (Minnesota Public Radio)

WIND:
• Federal researchers look to boost the output and revenue of wind projects by orienting turbines to minimize wind wake disturbance. (Energy News Network)
Offshore wind development in the Northeast has attracted unprecedented amounts of spending on lobbyists influencing state policies. (E&E News)

SOLAR: The mayor of Chattanooga, Tennessee, says he will work to make the city more solar friendly and energy efficient. (WDEF)

UTILITIES:
• The Supreme Court rules that the Tennessee Valley Authority cannot use government immunity to stave off lawsuits. (Knoxville News Sentinel)
• A Kentucky utility’s customers will help pay for dues with trade groups that lobby against environmental protections and small-scale renewables. (WFPL)
• An environmental group says Duke Energy is holding back renewable energy development in states where it operates. (WBOI)

COAL: The Justice Department opens an investigation into Southern Company’s failed coal-fired power plant. (Associated Press)

BIOFUELS: Republican U.S. senators ask the EPA to scale back the amount of corn-based ethanol that’s required to be blended into the national fuel supply. (E&E News, subscription)

OVERSIGHT:
• Members of a key Congressional subcommittee overseeing pipeline safety have invested as much as $2.8 million in fossil fuel and pipeline companies. (Sludge)
• North Carolina’s governor nominates three new members to the state’s utility board, which could reshape the commission. (Energy News Network)

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CLIMATE: Federal regulators sustain nearly half of company challenges to shareholder resolutions demanding more reporting on emissions reduction efforts. (InsideClimate News)

COMMENTARY:
• Your gas stove is bad for the planet and your family’s health, write a clean energy advocate and former environmental reporter. (New York Times)
• Energy efficiency is the “largest brake” we have to combat climate change, but we’re not pushing hard enough, an efficiency advocate writes. (Utility Dive)

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