U.S. Energy News

Two California cities sue oil companies for contributing to climate change

CLIMATE: San Francisco and Oakland, California, are suing five oil companies for their contributions to climate change, saying the companies should have to pay for infrastructure protecting the cities from sea level rise. (The Hill)

ALSO:
• Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham calls for a price on carbon at a climate change conference. (Time)
• North Carolina becomes the 15th state to join the U.S. Climate Alliance, as the group announces it is on track to meet Paris accord targets despite the Trump administration. (News & Observer, InsideClimate News)
• An analysis looks at how much the U.S. Climate Alliance can do to combat climate change without help from the federal government. (New York Times)

RENEWABLES: New York-based Citigroup Inc. announces plans to purchase or produce all of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. (Bloomberg)

WIND: Texas-based manufacturer Kimberly-Clark announces long-term power purchase agreements with two new wind farms in Texas and Oklahoma and says it should reach its emissions goals four years early. (News Times)

SOLAR:
• A pending case on whether to impose tariffs on imported solar equipment has several foreign manufacturers considering whether to open up shop in the U.S. to avoid potential trade restrictions. (Greentech Media)
• If federal trade officials vote in favor of tariffs on silicon solar cells, it could help Arizona-based First Solar, which produces a different type of thin-film solar product. (Motley Fool)
• Chicago-area developers, advocates, and government agencies are rushing to prepare local communities to take full advantage of incentives for community solar projects under a new energy law passed last year. (Midwest Energy News)

STORAGE: As energy storage grows, so does the human and environmental damage from extracting lithium for batteries. (Greentech Media)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: An Oregon-based electric vehicle company plans to ramp up production after raising about $19.5 million in its recent initial public offering. (Associated Press)

UTILITIES: Despite a big win from Ohio regulators last month, new FirstEnergy filings could delay a court ruling on “bailouts” for the utility’s uneconomic coal and nuclear plants, further adding to customer bills. (Midwest Energy News)

OIL & GAS:
• The drilling boom in West Texas could reach its peak and begin to decline as early as 2021, according to a new analysis. (Houston Chronicle)
• In a win for environmental groups, a Washington state board invalidated permits for a project to manufacture methanol from natural gas and sell it to China. (Associated Press)

POLLUTION: A fire at a Valero Energy oil refinery in Texas released nearly 1 million pounds of emissions into the air, including carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter that can impact the heart and lungs. (Houston Chronicle)

PIPELINES:
• Ohio environmental regulators’ fines against the developer of the Rover gas pipeline now reach $2.3 million for numerous water and air pollution violations during construction. (Associated Press)
• A settlement agreement between North Dakota and the Dakota Access pipeline developer involving the discovery of artifacts along the route does not include fines, but requires the company to plant more trees and develop an industry manual for “managing unanticipated discoveries.” (Bismarck Tribune)
• A developer plans to build a 220-mile crude pipeline system between New Mexico and West Texas. (Houston Chronicle)
• A report from a clean energy research group says the U.S. doesn’t need more natural gas pipelines and utilities are overestimating future demand from power plants. (WVTF)

COAL: Environmental groups are threatening to sue Duke Energy for not posting federally mandating maps outlining what would happen if any of the utility’s coal ash dams failed. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR: Nuclear energy advocates are pinning their hopes on the Trump administration and a Republican lawmaker from Georgia to champion nuclear tax credits worth hundreds of millions of dollars. (E&E News)

COMMENTARY:
• Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s denial of climate change in the wake of Hurricane Irma is “the perfect example of how U.S. leaders fail to meet the challenge of our lifetime,” says a writer for Rolling Stone.
• Researchers say imposing tariffs on imported solar panels would overall hurt the U.S. solar sector, and misses the bigger picture that solar manufacturing is a global industry. (The Conversation)

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