U.S. Energy News

Trump looks to scrap penalties for bird kills at energy sites

OIL & GAS: The Trump administration says it will propose new rules exempting oil, gas and wind companies from penalties if they accidentally kill birds — even on a massive scale. (Washington Post) 

ALSO:
A coalition of environmental groups are suing the Trump administration to revise its rules for using chemical dispersants in oil spill clean-ups. (Drilled)
A New York lawyer who won a major case against Chevron in South America says the company has spent a decade trying to destroy his life. (The Intercept)

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POLITICS:
U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Michigan, discusses her efforts to “build the coalition” around federal clean energy legislation. (Energy News Network)
An Oregon Democrat and West Virginia Republican on the House energy committee propose a national clean energy standard in exchange for limiting greenhouse gas regulation under the Clean Air Act. (E&E News)
Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders introduces a bill that would ban hydraulic fracking, drawing criticism from the oil industry. (The Hill)

EMISSIONS:
The benefits of switching from coal to natural gas have been overstated by ignoring methane emissions, according to several studies. (InsideClimate News)
On the day Microsoft made its carbon-negative pledge, the company was forced to power its Fargo, North Dakota, campus with diesel generators. (Wall Street Journal, subscription)
Asheville, North Carolina, becomes the state’s first city to declare a “climate emergency” and sets new emission and renewable goals.  (Associated Press)

RENEWABLES: The Interior Department is taking steps to advance major wind and solar projects on tribal land in California and Nevada. (E&E News)

SOLAR:
A solar developer says it will sue two Rhode Island towns for $285 million for allegedly illegally depriving it of its rights to build projects. (Providence Journal)
A city north of New York City will build a 6 MW community solar project on a closed landfill equivalent to 1,000 residential rooftops. (CBS New York)

WIND: A Virginia economist says it’s “highly doubtful” that Dominion Energy’s offshore wind project will create 14,000 jobs. (Virginian-Pilot)

GRID:
• Clean energy legislation expected this year in Illinois could push the state out of the PJM power grid. (Reuters)
• The Southwest Power Pool plans to spend $545 million in eight states over the next six years on transmission upgrades. (Utility Dive)
• Xcel Energy considers demand-side resources and “non-wires” alternatives amid distribution planning in Minnesota and Colorado. (Utility Dive)

COAL:
Two dozen people died in mining accidents in the U.S. last year — 11 of them in coal mines — which is the lowest number ever recorded. (Associated Press)
West Virginia is investing in research to transform coal into carbon products, but critics say the state should put that money into renewables. (U.S. News & World Report)

PIPELINES:
• Federal regulators say PennEast can use eminent domain in New Jersey to acquire land for a pipeline, contrary to an appeals court ruling. (Reuters)
• Minnesota regulators are set to decide next week on a revised environmental study for the Line 3 pipeline. (MPR News)

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ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• U.S. metro areas need to expand workplace and public fast-charging stations by 400% in the next five years to meet expected growth in EVs, a report finds. (Governing)
• General Motors will start building an electric Hummer truck in Detroit next year. (Detroit Free Press)

TRANSMISSION: The attorneys general of Maine, Massachusetts and Connecticut in a letter to federal regulators say the regional grid operator is anti-competitive for limiting bidding on transmission projects. (WSHU)

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