U.S. Energy News

Trump team failed to reach consensus on EPA climate authority

POLITICS: A Senate committee advances Rick Perry’s nomination for Secretary of Energy; the full Senate is expected to confirm him in the coming weeks. (The Hill)

CLIMATE:
• A Trump transition team failed to reach a consensus over whether the administration should seek to overturn the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases. (ClimateWire)
• A Florida Republican has drafted a bill that would “completely abolish” the U.S. EPA. (Huffington Post)
• The president of the National Academy of Sciences says “organized retreat” – protecting communities and key assets from climate change impacts – should be part of the broader discussion. (Scientific American)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join the Midwest Energy Research Consortium (M-WERC) at the Energy Storage Conference, February 15 in Milwaukee. This conference will explore recent advances in energy storage technologies, as well as the applications and in-field examples of the role of energy storage. ***

POLICY: Maryland’s House votes to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of a bill that would increase the state’s renewable energy standard, among other measures. (Baltimore Sun)

SOLAR:
• Maine regulators approve a plan to phase out net metering in the state. (Maine Public Radio)
• Two stalled solar projects in Hawaii are revived after a utility decides to purchase power from them. (Hawaii News Now)

COAL:
• House Republicans plan to vote today to repeal a federal stream protection rule they say makes it impossible for some coal mines to operate. (The Hill)
• The Kemper “clean coal” plant in Mississippi generates electricity for the first time from gasified coal, but the company announces full commercial operation will be delayed for another month. (Associated Press, Mississippi Today)
• Kentucky falls behind Illinois, becoming the #4 state in the country for coal production. (Lexington Herald-Leader)
• Consol Energy says it plans to sell off its coal business entirely. (Pittsburgh Tribune)
• After a successful test in Oklahoma, a “clean coal” project is moving to Wyoming. (The Oklahoman)

STORAGE: 
• A partnership among Tesla and two other companies brings 70 MW of grid-scale battery storage online in California in less than six months. (Greentech Media)
• Analysts project behind-the-meter applications to make up 51 percent of the U.S. storage market by 2021 — such applications now account for 15 percent of the market. (Utility Dive)

PIPELINES: U.S. lawmakers from North Dakota say the Army Corps of Engineers will grant the final approval needed to complete the Dakota Access pipeline, though opponents say they are “jumping the gun.” (Reuters)

OIL AND GAS:
• Analysts say a trade war with Mexico could send natural gas prices tumbling below $2. (Bloomberg)
• The U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts an 8 percent expansion in natural gas capacity over the next two years. (Utility Dive)

WIND:
• Two rural Michigan counties have recently enacted one-year moratoriums on new wind development in order to sort out how localized zoning regulations should be. (Midwest Energy News)
• Home Depot agrees to buy 50 MW per year from a Texas wind farm. (Atlanta Business Journal)

COMMENTARY:
• Why taking aim at federal energy research will kill jobs. (MIT Technology Review)
• An engineer explains why renewable energy makes financial sense for Alaska. (Alaska Dispatch News)

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