U.S. Energy News

Trump proposal would let agencies ignore climate impacts

OIL & GAS: Federal agencies would not have to consider climate change when assessing environmental impacts of pipelines and major infrastructure projects under a new rule proposed by the Trump administration. (New York Times)

ALSO: Google, Microsoft and Amazon, despite various claims about reducing emissions, are all working with the fossil fuel industry to help companies extract as much oil and gas out of the ground as possible. (Vox)

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BUILDINGS:
• States must target oil and gas use in buildings over the next decade to combat climate change, a report from the Rocky Mountain Institute warns. (Reuters)
Officials in Bellingham, Washington will consider a plan to ban all natural gas heating in homes including in existing structures. (New York Times)

UTILITIES:
• Utilities that have made big pledges to cut emissions are struggling to shed fossil fuels and in some cases expanding natural gas use. (InsideClimate News)
The NAACP is working to stop local and state branches from accepting money from utilities that promote fossil fuels. (New York Times)
• Calculating electricity bills in Ohio can be complex for customers as rates are impacted by new state laws and cross-subsidies. (Energy News Network)
• Electricity sales over the next decade are likely to pivot on two wild cards for the industry: electric vehicles and rooftop solar. (S&P Global)

SOLAR:
• California environmentalists say solar power should be installed on rooftops, landfills, and other disturbed lands in urban areas — not fragile desert landscapes. (Desert Sun)
• South Carolina regulators reconsider an earlier decision and unanimously agree Dominion Energy should pay solar developers more for the power they produce. (The State)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A Phoenix startup claims it may have found the “Holy Grail of batteries” that could significantly extend electric vehicle range and lower costs. (NBC News)

EFFICIENCY: A federal judge rules California can begin prohibiting the sale of several types of less-efficient light bulbs even as the U.S. Department of Energy works to reverse the expansion of definitions begun under the Obama administration. (Utility Dive)

PIPELINES: Weeks after resigning as U.S. energy secretary, Rick Perry rejoins the board of directors of Texas pipeline company Energy Transfer Partners. (Houston Chronicle)

COAL:
New York’s last coal generator could close in March as the state’s grid operator completes a study to determine if the plant is needed to ensure system reliability. (E&E News, subscription)
For the sixth time in about a month, protesters block a train headed for a New Hampshire coal power plant, hoping to convince its owners to shut it down. (CommonWealth Magazine)

COAL ASH: Increased flooding raises concerns over contamination from coal ash storage sites in Missouri. (PBS)

HYDROPOWER: Wet weather in the Midwest last year increased electric generation from the Missouri River’s six upstream dams by 5.6%. (Associated Press)

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CLIMATE: A new high school in New Orleans prepares students for careers in coastal protection and restoration, including engineering and clean energy. (Washington Post)

COMMENTARY:
• A lawyer specializing in the energy sector says climate change and the resulting legal and regulatory responses are beginning to change the core business model of utilities. (Power Magazine)
• The world will almost certainly not limit global warming to 1.5˚C, but admitting that doesn’t need to end hope, writes David Roberts. (Vox)
The stakes are high in the Supreme Court case of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which may be decided on small legal details, an attorney writes. (Daily Progress)

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