U.S. Energy News

Trump takes aim at light bulb efficiency rules

EFFICIENCY: The Trump administration effectively eliminated new federal efficiency standards for light bulbs starting in January, which one analysis says could lead to $14 billion per year in additional energy costs. (E&E News, Washington Post) 

CLIMATE:
• The CNN climate forum exposes significant differences among candidates on fracking, nuclear energy and who should own renewables. (Greentech Media)
• Democratic candidate Joe Biden is called out for plans to attend a fundraiser hosted by the co-founder of a natural gas export firm. (Reuters, The Intercept)
• Sen. Elizabeth Warren calls the plastic straw debate a fossil fuel industry distraction tactic to steer attention from carbon polluters. (Vox)

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COAL:
Coal mine bankruptcies are testing Gillette, Wyoming, which calls itself the energy capital of the U.S. (NPR)
• U.S. railroads may lose $5 billion in revenue by 2030 due to declining coal shipments, analysts say. (Associated Press)
• The president of the United Mine Workers of America says Democratic presidential candidates’ climate plans should account for coal mining job losses. (Associated Press)
• An environmental group sues the Interior Department, alleging it let former coal lobbyists weaken protections for Appalachia’s endangered crayfish. (Courthouse News)

HURRICANE DORIAN:
The Carolinas brace for Hurricane Dorian to hit today, and utilities prepare for potential impacts on coal ash pits at power plants. (Associated Press)
Utilities may avoid the worst of Hurricane Dorian, now a category 3 storm, but they say they’re prepared for whatever comes. (Utility Dive)

PIPELINES:
• After new pipelines opened in Texas, crude oil loaded onto vessels at Corpus Christi, Texas, hit a record of 1 million barrels per day. (Reuters)
• A section of natural gas pipeline that exploded in Kentucky recently was more than 60 years old, according to a report. (E&E News, subscription)

OIL & GAS:
The California legislature approves a bill that requires state officials to consider health and environmental impacts when reviewing oil and gas permits. (Bloomberg)
• Oil drops to near $55 a barrel, putting pressure on shale producers as investors are losing faith in the industry. (Bloomberg)
• A survey by a progessive polling organization finds only 33% of 1,380 voters asked were opposed to banning fracking. (HuffPost)

NUCLEAR:
• New Jersey regulators are reviewing subsidies to nuclear power plants approved only a few months ago to determine if they should be extended or reduced. (NJ Spotlight)
• Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey says there are insufficient funds to decommission the Pilgrim nuclear plant and that federal regulators prematurely approved the facility’s sale. (Bloomberg) 

OHIO: FirstEnergy Solutions seeks to head off a voter referendum on subsidies for two of its nuclear plants by filing a lawsuit with the Ohio Supreme Court arguing the charge is actually a tax and therefore immune from referendum. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

RENEWABLES:
• The city of Minneapolis seeks input from companies that can provide renewable energy for cheaper than what the city pays Xcel Energy under a green tariff program. (Energy News Network)
• A Texas energy executive says renewables are poised to grow in the state’s deregulated electricity market. (Clean Energy Finance Forum)

WIND: Eight recently approved wind projects could bring 700 more turbines and an investment of $2.6 billion to South Dakota by the end of 2020. (South Dakota News Watch)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
A new report says rapid adoption of electric vehicles in the Seattle area could overwhelm the grid if the city doesn’t coordinate with utilities. (E&E News)
People are beginning to buy electric cars for the same reason they buy any other car: price. (Quartz) 

TRANSMISSION: A Missouri landowners group challenges state regulators’ conclusion that the developer of the Grain Belt Express transmission project meets the definition of a public utility. (Energy News Network)

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CARBON: Pulling carbon dioxide out of the air and using it in products could be a trillion-dollar business by 2030, according to some estimates. (Vox) 

COMMENTARY:
A columnist says leasing the Arctic Refuge to oil and gas drillers while Trump is in office breeds political discord and may backfire economically. (Forbes)
A cleantech initiatives director says New York City’s climate law regulating efficiency in buildings needs to resolve numerous issues for it to become workable. (Crain’s New York Business) 

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