U.S. Energy News

U.N. leader: Double clean energy investments by 2020

CLIMATE: U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon calls on global investment leaders at a summit in New York to at least double their climate-related investments within the next five years. (International Business Times)

WIND:
• The U.S. wind industry ended 2015 with its second-best quarter ever, with an average of nearly 12 turbines coming online each day. (Forbes)
• Iowa moves ahead of California to become the No. 2 wind state in the nation. (Radio Iowa)
• Oklahoma’s tax incentive program for wind development is paying out millions more than officials expected. (Norman Transcript)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoes a bill that called for state regulators to reconsider applications for smaller offshore wind projects. (Utility Dive)

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SOLAR:
• California regulators will decide today whether to stick with a net metering policy that has allowed the industry to flourish or to scale it back and make it more expensive. (Reuters)
A bill to extend state tax credits for residential solar systems moves forward in New Mexico. (Santa Fe New Mexican)

NATURAL GAS: Local regulators are suing the utility responsible for the ongoing leak from a California natural gas storage site for millions in penalties. (National Public Radio)

CONGRESS:
• Key lawmakers from both parties are optimistic that a sweeping, bipartisan energy bill will move through the Senate without a drawn-out amendment process. (E&E Daily)
However, some Republicans are planning to push back against the administration, including a plan to halt a moratorium on federal coal-mine leases. (The Hill)

OIL AND GAS: New statewide setback requirements for oil and gas drilling rigs in Colorado could limit production and cost up to 62,000 jobs, a study says. (Denver Business Journal)

COAL:
• Analysts say coal bankruptcies are unlikely to resolve the nation’s supply glut.(Bloomberg)
• At an industry gathering, Murray Energy CEO Robert Murray says taxes should be raised on tobacco, alcohol and natural gas to fund tax breaks for the coal industry. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
The share of U.S. electricity generated from coal reached its lowest point ever in November. (Bloomberg)
Federal lease reviews for coal-mining projects in the Powder River Basin move forward but won’t be finalized under the recent moratorium. (Associated Press)

EFFICIENCY: The Archdiocese of Chicago is among the leading entities in the city taking aggressive steps to make its numerous buildings more efficient. (Midwest Energy News)

CLEAN POWER PLAN:
• Opponents say that if the U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t halt the rules, states will be forced to comply and a lawsuit challenging the merits of the plan could prove irrelevant. (Greenwire)
Observers say appealing to the Supreme Court for a stay is an “extraordinary move.” (EnergyWire)
An electric cooperative representing 140 small, rural co-ops says it will cost $5 billion to comply with the Clean Power Plan. (Billings Gazette)

OFFSHORE DRILLING: Actors Kate Walsh, Ted Danson and Sam Waterston join a summit in Washington D.C. to oppose offshore drilling in the Atlantic. (McClatchy)

UTILITIES: In a new survey, utility officials and regulators agree they need to work together to protect revenue streams as distributed energy systems grow, though they differ in “approach and focus.” (Utility Dive)

COMMENTARY:
• The number of home energy upgrades is decreasing due to a combination of inconvenience and poor access to upfront capital. (Rocky Mountain Institute)
Extending federal tax credits for wind and solar was a “very, very big deal.” (Vox)

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