U.S. Energy News

U.S. mayors ask the EPA not to repeal the Clean Power Plan

CLEAN POWER PLAN: More than 230 mayors send a joint letter asking EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt not to repeal the Clean Power Plan. (Yale Environment 360)

REGULATION:
• The Trump administration’s reversal of Obama-era environmental regulations is slowing thanks to push-back from the courts. (The Guardian)
• The White House’s efforts to scrap environmental regulations simply because they were issued under President Obama, are “legally not going to hold up,” says former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. (The Hill)
• During his first year in office, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has made stunning progress on getting rid of the EPA “in almost every form.” (Mother Jones)

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SOLAR:
• A California state senator introduces a bill to allow building owners with small rooftops to buy space on larger buildings for solar installations. (Los Angeles Times)
• Solar module imports from China jumped by nearly 1,200 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017 as the Trump administration considered implementing solar tariffs. (Utility Dive)
• SEIA President and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper emerged as a leading voice against solar tariffs and may be “the most important woman in solar.” (E&E News)
• Tariffs on imported solar panels and modules may help a manufacturer in Virginia. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

WIND:
• Wyoming’s largest utility will move forward with the construction of four wind projects, which are expected to generate more than 200 full-time jobs. (Casper Star-Tribune)
• The success of anti-wind activists in Minnesota shows that residents have the power to halt wind farm projects when they organize. (Associated Press)
• A state renewable energy association has filed a lawsuit challenging Maine Gov. Paul LePage’s constitutional authority to place a moratorium on wind energy projects. (Portland Press Herald)

RENEWABLES: A former Republican lawmaker is behind an ambitious plan to boost renewable energy use in Arizona. (Washington Examiner)

TECHNOLOGY: A utility that serves three Northeast states is among those who say blockchain – the digital code that is used to create cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin – could also play a role in advancing clean energy. (Northeast Energy News)

COAL:
• State regulators say the recent closure of three coal-fired power plants will increase wholesale power prices in Texas this summer. (Houston Chronicle)
• A bill in the Wyoming Senate would exclude coal miners with fewer than 10 years experience from a state fund that assists with medical bills. (Casper Star-Tribune)
• Assistant DOE Secretary Bruce Walker denies reports that the agency is considering an order to keep uneconomic coal plants online, saying the DOE “would never” use an emergency order to stave off an economic issue. (Utility Dive)

OIL & GAS:
• Nearly two out of five workers in Alaska’s oil and gas industry is from out of state, according to the latest data from 2016. (Anchorage Daily News)
• Oil spills increased by 17 percent last year in Colorado, which recently adopted a set of tough new regulations for flow lines. (Fox 31 Denver)

POLITICS: A consumer advocacy group alleges grid operator PJM violated rules by making campaign contributions with membership funds. (RTO Insider)

PIPELINES:
• Keystone XL pipeline opponents want a judge to force the government to hand over documents related to President Trump’s approval of the project. (Associated Press)
• A new pipeline system is proposed in North Dakota to move growing volumes of natural gas liquids from the Bakken area. (Bismarck Tribune)

BIOFUEL: Texas Senator Ted Cruz heads to Philadelphia to meet with workers at an oil refinery that blamed its recent bankruptcy on federal biofuel regulations. (Houston Chronicle, Reuters)

NUCLEAR: A Trump administration plan could see some nuclear plants operating to 2050 and even beyond. (Bloomberg)

CLIMATE: The Trump administration is considering a plan to rejoin the Paris climate agreement by 2020, according to a former top White House adviser. (The Hill)

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ADVOCACY: Lawmakers are taking steps to crack down on environmental advocates who tamper with fossil fuel operations and pipelines. (Huffington Post)

COMMENTARY:
• A former FERC chairman says renewable energy will see more growth if utilities and environmentalists work together. (Utility Dive)
• Controversy over completing the Vogtle plant expansion in Georgia shows how difficult the current environment is for nuclear power, which is necessary to “avoid opening a gaping hole in U.S. climate change strategy,” says a Duke University energy expert. (The Conversation)

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