U.S. Energy News

Trump scraps Obama-era energy targets for federal agencies

EFFICIENCY: Trump signs an executive order rolling back an Obama-era goal to reduce federal agencies’ energy use by 2.5 percent annually. (The Hill)

POLICY:
• The Trump administration also wants to ditch an Obama-era rule meant to reduce the risks of disasters at U.S. chemical facilities, including petroleum refineries and terminals. (ThinkProgress)
• An Ohio business group says state lawmakers should embrace clean energy policies to control rates, improve grid reliability and bring investment. (Midwest Energy News)

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EPA:
• Many of the regulatory rollbacks spearheaded by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt have been hindered by procedural and legal issues, including a move to relax standards for coal ash storage. (Washington Post)
• Michael Stoker, a California agriculture attorney known for coining the “lock her up” chant against Hillary Clinton, is appointed to head the EPA’s Pacific Southwest regional office. (The Hill)

SOLAR:
• A county commission approves a permit for an 80 MW solar farm that would be the first major commercial solar project in Wyoming. (Associated Press)
• California utilities and solar developers call for dialogue on how to integrate more rooftop solar in light of a mandate requiring panels on all new homes. (Utility Dive)

WIND: Scientists launch a six-year study to see how a wind farm may affect antelopes in Wyoming. (Associated Press)

RENEWABLES:
• As more renewables come online, utilities may be forced to shut down fossil fuel power plants early, creating potential credit risks. (Utility Dive)
• Many want to bolster Puerto Rico’s electric system with more distributed, clean energy, but the island’s utility hasn’t been friendly to renewables. (Greentech Media)

OIL & GAS: A group of 60 global investors with $10 trillion in combined assets write an open letter calling on the oil and gas industry to take more action to combat climate change. (Quartz)

PIPELINES:
• FERC votes to stop preparing “upper-bound” estimates of greenhouse gas emissions in its environmental assessments for new natural gas pipelines, but the ruling is likely to face legal challenges. (Utility Dive)
• Opponents of the Atlantic Coast pipeline are building a civil rights case against the project, saying it would have a disproportionate impact on people of color living along its route. (InsideClimate News)

GRID: Federal regulators have made little progress in an effort to simplify grid connections between regional transmission operators. (Midwest Energy News)

NUCLEAR:
• The only commercially operated nuclear plant in the Pacific Northwest, located in Washington state, shut down unexpectedly on Friday. (Associated Press)
• The struggling Savannah River nuclear project in South Carolina has cost the federal government $7 billion — more than 12 times original estimates — and is decades behind schedule. (Post and Courier)

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CLIMATE:
• Three House Republicans and two House Democrats join the Climate Solutions Caucus this week, bringing the number of lawmakers in the group to 78. (The Hill)
• Utah’s governor signs a resolution acknowledging fossil fuels’ role in climate change after being lobbied by a group of local teenagers. (The Hill)

COMMENTARY: Large amounts of wind and solar on the grid will significantly affect the decision-making of energy regulators, policymakers and investors, says Vox’s David Roberts.

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