U.S. Energy News

U.S. coal demand hits 42-year low

COAL: Coal demand from U.S. power plants is at its lowest level in 42 years, despite efforts by the Trump administration to revive the industry. (CNN)

ALSO:
A West Virginia county official says he does not expect a “devastating” impact from recently announced mine closures: “the coal is not the real problem, the drug problem is our biggest problem.” (WV Metro News)
The required transfer of mining permits and associated reclamation obligations to the new owner of Blackjewel’s Wyoming mines could delay their return to full operations by up to three weeks. (Wyoming Business Report)

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CLIMATE:
• The International Monetary Fund says a climate tax of $75 per ton will be necessary to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. (Reuters)
• Senate Democrats plan to force a vote next week on the Trump administration’s rules aimed at rolling back Obama-era carbon restrictions. (Washington Examiner)
• Two weeks after Amazon made a sweeping climate pledge, one of its executives attended an oil industry event called “Accelerate Production 4.0.” (Gizmodo)

WIND: Industry proponents seek to have an investment tax credit for solar expanded to include wind projects as well. (Greentech Media)

IMPEACHMENT: Energy Secretary Rick Perry is subpoenaed as House investigators examine his contacts with Ukraine’s state-owned gas company. (New York Times)

CALIFORNIA:
• California Governor Gavin Newsom blasts PG&E over the bankrupt utility’s “unacceptable” extended power outages and decades-long history of neglecting its systems. (Los Angeles Times)
PG&E CEO Bill Johnson admits the utility “was not adequately prepared” for its unprecedented power outages this week. (San Francisco Chronicle)

UTILITIES:
Massachusetts regulators order a broad investigation of National Grid management after questions surface about delayed solar installations, its electric vehicle program and cybersecurity preparedness. (Patriot-Ledger)
• Exelon and its Illinois utility Commonwealth Edison receive a second federal subpoena as officials investigate the company’s lobbying activities in Illinois. (Crain’s Chicago Business)
Colorado regulators granted the City of Boulder unconditional approval to transfer some Xcel Energy assets needed to create a community-owned, city-run electric utility. (news release)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
Minnesota will spend nearly $1.7 million of Volkswagen settlement funds to expand electric vehicle charging options along major highways. (Energy News Network)
“Georgia is a case study” in how unreasonably high registration fees for electric vehicles can dampen sales. (E&E News, subscription)
A recent report touting the benefits of electrified transit options riles diesel supporters, who called the report “disingenuous” for not accounting for new technology to control emissions. (E&E News, subscription)
A new report identifies six regions that are making progress on electric buses. (Utility Dive)

SOLAR:
• Three western solar farms are among the five largest multi-hundred-megawatt solar projects in the U.S. (Greentech Media)
• Florida Power & Light launches a community solar initiative that could reach as many as 10,000 low-income ratepayers. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

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PIPELINES: A Duke University scientist urges North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper to place a “permanent moratorium” on new natural gas infrastructure to address climate change. (Raleigh News & Observer)

COMMENTARY: Industry is a much bigger source of emissions than cars or airplanes, and will be harder to decarbonize. (Vox)

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