U.S. Energy News

Trump preparing executive actions to help coal miners, industry

COAL: At a rally in Kentucky, President Trump promises to transform the EPA “from a job-killer into a job-creator” and put coal miners back to work using new executive actions. (Courier-Journal, Reuters)

ALSO:
• An Ohio electric utility announces the closure of two coal-fired power plants, saying they “will not be economically viable beyond mid-2018.” (The Hill)
• Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vows to fight proposed budget cuts to
the Appalachian Regional Commission, which helps revitalize economies hurt by coal’s decline. (Associated Press)

OIL & GAS: Companies in Texas are rushing to build infrastructure projects to help meet Mexico’s growing demand for gasoline, diesel and other oil products. (San Antonio Business Journal)

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PIPELINES:
• The Dakota Access pipeline developer says the project is on track to start moving oil this week, despite recent “attacks” that threatened “physical safety and the environment.” (Associated Press)
• Washington state fines a natural gas company $1 million for breaking pipeline safety rules. (Associated Press)

POLITICS:
• The White House pushes back an executive order targeting Obama-era climate policies, which was expected to be signed this week. (The Hill)
• Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch has a history of finding creative ways to keep environmental lawsuits out of court. (Mother Jones)

NUCLEAR:
• Sources say Toshiba’s nuclear power plant developer Westinghouse Electric is seeking offers for a financing package to carry it through potential bankruptcy proceedings in the U.S. (Reuters)
• The governor and attorney general of Nevada endorse a resolution to formally oppose efforts to turn Yucca Mountain into a nuclear waste dump. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
• Nearly 70 elected officials from counties across New York state write a letter asking Gov. Andrew Cuomo to halt a tax subsidy that would enable three nuclear plants to stay open. (Associated Press)

SOLAR:
• A group of entrepreneurs in West Virginia is trying to replace disappearing coal jobs with solar employment. (The Guardian)
• Lawmakers in Maine are considering changes to a recent net-metering rule that has been criticized for reducing financial incentives for residential solar customers. (Portland Press Herald)
• Utah’s governor signs a bill that phases out a $2,000 tax credit for installing rooftop solar panels, following criticism that the credit was taking funding away from public schools. (Deseret News)

RENEWABLE ENERGY:
• Keeping some nuclear and fossil fuel plants online would be a more effective way to cut emissions than going 100 percent renewable, according to a new literature review. (Utility Dive)
• An architect submits a proposal for the U.S.-Mexico border wall that includes enough solar panels and wind turbines to offset the cost of building the wall within 25 years. (Houston Chronicle)
• Under an updated 15-year “integrated resource plan,” a utility in Minnesota will double its investment in wind power and close a coal plant within the next five years. (Midwest Energy News)

STORAGE: A growing number of experts believe energy storage is poised to take off, adding tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs to the economy and billions of dollars in revenue over the next 10 years, but it’s unclear whether the U.S. will take the lead. (E&E News)

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CLIMATE:
• A group of teenagers who are suing the federal government in a climate change case ask to see emails sent and received by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who used an alias email address during his time as CEO of Exxon. (Reuters)
• The Massachusetts attorney general’s office orders ExxonMobil to preserve all executive emails sent by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, including those under an alias email address. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY:
• Virginia is well-positioned to take advantage of clean energy opportunities, says a senior associate at Ceres, a nonprofit organization advocating for sustainability leadership. (Southeast Energy News)
• The Trump administration could revolutionize the energy industry by pioneering space-based solar power, says a contributor for Forbes.

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