U.S. Energy News

U.S. lawmakers unite to oppose Trump’s offshore drilling plan

OFFSHORE DRILLING: A Trump administration plan to expand offshore drilling is uniting opposing lawmakers from both parties. (Los Angeles Times)

• A U.S. senator from Washington state says the Interior Department’s decision to exempt only Florida from a nationwide offshore drilling expansion may be illegal. (Associated Press)
• Florida is no longer included in the offshore drilling plan, but there could be wiggle room, depending on how “Florida” is defined. (Bloomberg)
• Governors in Rhode Island, Washington and New Jersey are asking Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to exempt their state’s waters from oil and gas exploration. (Associated Press, Seattle Times, Philadelphia Inquirer)
• U.S. senators and representatives from New England introduce legislation to bar offshore drilling along their coasts. (Associated Press)

OIL & GAS: BP Energy agrees to pay California $102 million to settle claims that it overcharged the state for natural gas between 2003 and 2012, but it maintains the allegations “were entirely without merit.” (Sacramento Bee)

• A proposed natural gas pipeline and export facility in Oregon would produce 15 times more emissions than the state’s last coal-burning plant, making it the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Oregon, according to an advocacy group’s report. (Associated Press)
• North Carolina regulators announce more setbacks for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, delaying a decision on its clean water certificate as well as other environmental permits. (Southeast Energy News)

COAL: The Energy Information Administration predicts increased U.S. natural gas production to have its highest year-over-year increase in 2018, which will likely continue driving the trend away from coal. (Utility Dive)

POLLUTION: More than 500 North Carolina residents living near Duke Energy power plants have been relying on bottled water for the last 1,000 days to avoid using well water that might be contaminated by coal ash toxins. (Charlotte Observer)

• California utility regulators unanimously approve an agreement to retire the state’s last nuclear power plant by 2025, but the plan has “no explicit provision” for zero-carbon replacements. (Greentech Media)
• South Carolina utility customers would owe another $2.8 billion over the next two decades for the now-failed Summer nuclear project if Virginia-based Dominion Energy buys the state-owned utility’s parent company. (The State)
• Some analysts say Dominion Energy’s plan to buy South Carolina utility SCANA would help shareholders but provide few benefits for ratepayers. (Utility Dive)

• The U.S. offshore wind industry is gaining momentum with new projects being planned along the Atlantic coast after years of delays. (Yale Environment 360)
• Federal officials say the Trump administration’s proposal to expand offshore drilling would not interfere with the leasing of those waters for wind turbines. (Newsday)
• After claims were dismissed in federal court last year against a wind project in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, landowners seek relief from state courts in what could be a long-shot victory to claim the turbines cause negative health impacts. (Midwest Energy News)

• Industry leaders are making a final push to steer President Trump away from adopting solar tariffs, but sources say official recommendations to impose trade remedies could be on their way. (Greentech Media)
• A Trump supporter and former coal executive who switched gears to become a solar developer is worried that new solar tariffs could imperil his business. (TIME)
• Five experts predict what 2018 will bring for the solar industry. (Utility Dive)

EMISSIONS: Carbon emissions from transportation is America’s biggest climate problem for the 2nd year in a row, according to a recent analysis. (Vox)

POLICY: Experts say Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s plan to subsidize coal and nuclear plants was legally doomed from the start because it failed to meet the basic legal requirements for enacting a major market change. (Greentech Media)

• New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio makes his case for why the city is suing five fossil fuel companies and divesting from big oil. (Washington Post)
• A Huffington Post writer says President Trump could prove his business savvy by rejecting a request for tariffs on imported solar panels.

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