U.S. Energy News

Trump says decision on solar tariffs is coming “pretty soon”

SOLAR: President Trump says when other countries dump subsidized solar panels in the United States, “then everybody goes out of business.” He says he will announce a decision on whether to impose tariffs “pretty soon.” (Reuters)

ALSO:
• Trade experts say the implementation of solar tariffs could be delayed 90 days if the Trump administration decides to pursue a “negotiated settlement.” (Greentech Media)
• The CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) makes a personal plea to the president for him not to impose solar tariffs, saying the move would “lead to the layoff of tens of thousands of workers.” (Washington Examiner)
• Outgoing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie “pocket vetoes” a bill that would have raised the state’s solar standard, meaning the legislature cannot override it. (PV Magazine)

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ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• A pilot program launched by Pacific Gas & Electric will introduce 7,500 electric car chargers in California, making it the largest utility-sponsored EV charging program in the country. (Greentech Media)
• More than 700 EV charging stations will be installed in Utah with the help Rocky Mountain Power, Uber and others. (Deseret News)

COAL:
• The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear a lawsuit by environmentalists who claim the federal government underplays the impact of coal mining on land it leases. (The Hill)
• Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship, convicted of a misdemeanor for his role in a deadly 2010 coal mine explosion, kicks off a U.S. Senate campaign tonight in West Virginia. (Associated Press)

OIL AND GAS: While solar advocates submitted testimony opposing plans for a 1,100 MW natural gas plant in Michigan, analysts say the area’s intermittent supply of wind and solar should be accounted for. (Greentech Media)

PIPELINES: A plea deal reached in a case involving a Dakota Access pipeline protester being accused of shooting a gun at law enforcement will avoid a lengthy prison sentence. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR: A little-known legislative committee report released over a decade ago has been driving the push for a nuclear expansion in South Carolina, and its dire predictions of power shortages have been wildly off base. (The Nerve)

POLLUTION: New York and Connecticut are suing the EPA for failing to crack down on power plant emissions from upwind states. (The Hill)

GRID:
• Texas sets a new record for winter power usage due to unusually cold weather. (Texas Tribune)
• Insufficient space on aging transmission lines could prevent companies from obtaining more clean energy in the future, according to a new report. (GreenBiz)
• Detroit-based General Motors calls for greater access to wind and solar generation through expanded transmission lines as the company’s demand for renewables grows. (Bloomberg)
• How energy storage could help address high demand during the tourist season on Nantucket Island. (Utility Dive)

UTILITIES:
• The CEO of Dominion Energy told South Carolina lawmakers this week that its proposal to buy SCANA is off the table if it cannot recover costs of a failed nuclear expansion from ratepayers. (Post and Courier)
• Dominion Energy plans to put nine inefficient coal and gas generation units on “cold reserve” status in Virginia. (Associated Press)

EFFICIENCY: A Wisconsin nonprofit is successfully using gaming as a way to promote energy efficiency behavior. (Midwest Energy News)

POLITICS:
• Nine of 12 members on the National Park System Advisory Board resign, saying the Interior Department suspended the board, and “there were no meetings on issues of climate and science.” (Los Angeles Times)
• A former photographer for the Department of Energy says he was fired for leaking photographs of Energy Secretary Rick Perry meeting with coal company CEO Robert Murray. (New York Times)
• Democratic Party gains in the Virginia General Assembly shift the odds for several energy-related bills, including a push to declare solar projects in the public interest. (Southeast Energy News)

COMMENTARY:
• Nuclear power maximizes the environmental benefits of electric vehicles, says the vice president of a public policy think tank. (Forbes)
• A chart from Reuters shows how badly the Trump administration botched the effort to restore Puerto Rico’s power, and “the degree of incompetence on display is staggering,” says a columnist for ThinkProgress.

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