U.S. Energy News

Trump picks a fossil fuel ally, climate change denier to head EPA

POLITICS: Donald Trump chooses Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt, a climate change denier and ally of the fossil fuel industry, to run the EPA. (Los Angeles Times)

COAL:
• Charlotte-based Duke Energy could spend nearly $30 million on new water supplies for about 886 North Carolina residents who rely on wells near the company’s coal ash ponds. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• The Interior Department designates nearly 75,000 acres in east Tennessee as unsuitable for mountaintop coal mining. (Associated Press)
• People in West Virginia’s coal country say they are “euphoric” and “thrilled” about Donald Trump’s upcoming presidency. (Washington Post)

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OIL & GAS:
• A new company wants to build Texas’ first large refinery in the past 40 years, with hopes to export its fuels to Mexico. (FuelFix)
• A U.S. Senator from Washington state is seeking to strengthen environmental protections after Canada’s government approved a pipeline project that will increase the amount of oil tankers in state’s waters. (Associated Press)
• State environmental regulators fine a natural-gas driller over $3.5 million for multiple violations at well sites and pipeline locations in Pennsylvania. (Associated Press)

PIPELINES:
• A new survey conducted by a manufacturers group finds that 87 percent of Pennsylvania residents support expanding pipeline infrastructure. (Pittsburgh Business Times)
• North Dakota averages four pipeline spills a year, leading to over $40 million in property damages since 1996, according to a recent analysis. (ThinkProgress)
• A second worker dies from injuries related to an October pipeline blast in Alabama. (AL.com)
• More than a dozen landowners in Iowa are fighting to have a section of the Dakota Access Pipeline removed from their farmlands. (Greenwire)
• Two people are arrested for protesting at a pipeline construction site in Texas, which is operated by the same company building the Dakota Access Pipeline. (Reuters)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Employment numbers at Tesla’s battery factory in Northern Nevada are at a fraction of anticipated projections. (Review-Journal)

STORAGE: A New York City nonprofit loans over $1 million to a low-income housing development in Brooklyn so it can build a large-scale battery storage project – marking the first battery storage microgrid installation at a low-income property in the city. (Renewable Energy World)

SOLAR:
• Two Utah solar companies merge to form one of the country’s largest residential solar providers. (Deseret News)
• A California-based solar company is cutting 2,500 jobs in an effort to restructure and reduce costs. (Los Angeles Times)
• Honolulu residents use more solar energy for their primary heating source than people in other major U.S. cities, according to a new report. (Pacific Business News)
• The flat roofs of small businesses represent an enormous opportunity for solar growth. (Greentech Media)

POLLUTION: The fate of contested EPA guidelines meant to curb toxic metals in power plants’ wastewater discharges may be determined under Donald Trump’s administration. (Greenwire)

POLICY:
• The governor of Illinois signs an energy bill that will have far-reaching effects in the state. (Midwest Energy News)
• Groups are criticizing a new provision in an Ohio energy bill, saying it would amount to an added “giveaway” for utilities. (Midwest Energy News)

NUCLEAR:
• Investors and industry regulators are rallying behind a new technology that uses molten salt to create nuclear energy. (Bloomberg)
• A nuclear plant in Michigan will shut down four years earlier than expected. (Midwest Energy News)

COMMENTARY:
• The government’s decision to block the path of the Dakota Access Pipeline isn’t the environmental victory it appears to be. (Forbes)
• Donald Trump made “an aggressively bad choice” by selecting Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt as the next leader of the EPA. (New York Times)

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