U.S. Energy News

Trump picks climate change denier for Secretary of Interior

POLITICS:
• Donald Trump nominates a climate change denier who supports drilling on public lands for Secretary of Interior. (Climate Central)
• Sources say Donald Trump will name ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as his secretary of state. (NBC News)

CLIMATE:
• Donald Trump’s transition team sends a questionnaire to the Department of Energy requesting the names of employees who attended climate change policy conferences. (New York Times)
• Conservatives expected to be active in rolling back federal environmental regulations signal efforts to ramp up the spread of misinformation on climate science, including using the EPA itself as a vehicle. (ClimateWire)
• Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and fellow investors are starting a fund to combat climate change by investing in clean energy innovation. (Quartz)

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REGULATION: Donald Trump tells a crowd in Louisiana that he will “cancel the job-killing restrictions on the production of American energy” and build more oil refineries. (New York Times)

OIL & GAS:
• The White House closes off more than 40,000 square miles of Alaskan waters to oil drilling. (Alaska Dispatch News)
• Congress passes a measure authorizing the sale of $375 million of crude oil from the country’s emergency reserve. (Reuters)
• The Bureau of Land Management removes two parcels of land in Utah from an oil and gas lease-sale due to the presence of cultural resources in the area. (Deseret News)

PIPELINES:
• With roughly one crude oil spill every other day in the U.S., how safe are modern oil pipelines? (Undark)
• Ohio residents are promising to obstruct a 255-mile natural gas pipeline after federal regulators refused suggestions to move the project away from their communities. (Associated Press)
• The chairman of the Native American tribe that’s spearheading the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline says he would like to meet with Donald Trump to discuss the issue. (Huffington Post)
• The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission reaffirms its decision to stop a 230-mile liquefied natural gas pipeline that would have helped ship gas from Oregon to Asia. (Associated Press)

CARBON CAPTURE: Capturing CO2 emissions for enhanced oil recovery could significantly increase if Congress passes tax incentives and other policy changes, according to a new report. (Midwest Energy News)

POLLUTION: Thousands of low-profile oil spills are threatening the Gulf of Mexico. (Wired)

COAL:
• Senate Democrats retreat on long-term health care benefits for retired coal miners in order to avoid a government shutdown. (Associated Press)
• A Republican senator asks Donald Trump to support long-term health care benefits for retired coal miners when he takes office. (The Hill)
• A company sues Oakland, California, for banning coal handling and storage within city limits. (San Francisco Chronicle)
• U.S. coal production is predicted to reach its lowest level since 1978 due to increasing use of natural gas and renewable energy. (FuelFix)

NUCLEAR:
• Donald Trump’s transition teams asks the Energy Department how to keep nuclear plants running. (Bloomberg)
• The proposed agreement between Entergy and Consumers Energy to close down the Palisades nuclear plant in southwest Michigan early is a vastly different approach than that taken by Exelon in Illinois. (Midwest Energy News)

POLICY: Ohio clean energy advocates are relying on the governor to follow through on a promise to veto a bill that would make compliance with the state’s clean energy standards voluntary until 2019. (Midwest Energy News)

RENEWABLE ENERGY:
• A new proposal in Arizona seeks to mandate renewable energy generation from wind and solar during peak demand hours. (Utility Dive)
• A utility in southwest Virginia is proposing to make renewable energy available to its ratepayers with a dedicated rate, but caveats apply. (Southeast Energy News)

SOLAR:
Net-metering is not sustainable over the long-term, according to a report by electricity market researchers. (PV Magazine)
• Regulators suspend a request by a Utah utility to subject new residential solar customers to possible rate changes, handing a victory to the state’s solar industry. (Deseret News)
• A North Carolina advisory committee wants the General Assembly to do a “broad” re-evaluation of state energy policy, especially when it comes to solar energy. (Southeast Energy News)

UTILITIES: The utility industry is experimenting with wearable technology to improve worker safety and increase efficiency. (Greentech Media)

COMMENTARY: Donald Trump and his pick for EPA chief want to roll U.S. pollution standards back to 1970 levels. (New York Times)

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