U.S. Energy News

Under ethical scrutiny, EPA official who led climate rollback resigns

CLIMATE: A top EPA official who has led the agency’s push to dismantle climate policy has resigned amid an ethics inquiry into his contacts with former industry clients. (InsideClimate News, Reuters)

ALSO: Congressional Democrats introduce a bill that would create a national renewable energy standard of 50 percent by 2035. (E&E News)

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GRID: Low-income ratepayers in Illinois could be paying more than their fair share to use the grid because they use less electricity during peak times than higher-income customers, a new study shows. (Energy News Network)

WIND:
• A compromise bill on wind energy moving through the North Carolina legislature could end the perennial push to restrict turbines in the eastern half of the state. (Energy News Network)
As the first offshore wind project in the Great Lakes awaits a regulatory decision, opinions vary on whether it’s needed or whether it will spur additional projects. (Great Lakes Now)

SOLAR:
Rhode Island legislators are poised to pass bills to expand solar power but environmentalists say they do not provide protections for green space. (Providence Journal)
• A 480-acre Montana solar farm project wins a significant legal victory in a fight with the state’s largest utility and regulators. (Billings Gazette)

NUCLEAR: An Ohio state Senate committee rewrites a bill to provide $150 million a year, at least temporarily, to save two FirstEnergy nuclear plants while also scaling back clean energy standards. (Toledo Blade)

TRANSPORTATION: As the Trump administration seeks to prevent California from setting its own vehicle emissions standards, the state and Canada sign an agreement to advance cleaner fuels and cars. (Reuters)

EFFICIENCY:
Utilities and states are pushing back against Trump administration efforts to weaken efficiency rules. (Utility Dive)
Only two of 11 states that have legalized recreational cannabis — Massachusetts and Illinois — have included energy efficiency standards for indoor growing. (FairWarning)

OIL & GAS:
The owner of a Philadelphia refinery that suffered an explosion and fire last week confirmed it will shutter the facility but wants to sell it to an entity that will restart it. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
BP is investing $30 million in a California startup that converts natural gas into fish food. (Houston Chronicle)

COAL:
Illinois environmental groups want strict measures to deal with coal ash contamination at four NRG power plants after state regulators ruled the company is to blame for groundwater pollution at the sites. (Energy News Network)
Retiring Colorado’s remaining fleet of coal plants and replacing them with wind and solar energy could save utility customers billions of dollars, according to a new analysis authorized by the Sierra Club. (Colorado Public Radio)
• Thirty-six train cars carrying 3,600 tons of coal derail and spill into the Great Dismal Swamp in Virginia, raising concerns about contamination. (Virginian Pilot)

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POLITICS:
• Supporters of an Oregon climate bill dispute the assertion by some top Democrats that the legislation is dead. (Bloomberg)
• The standoff over the Oregon climate bill was inevitable given the state’s deep political divide between urban and rural areas, some experts say. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY: Climate change got more airtime in last night’s Democratic debate than it did in all of the 2016 debates. But it was still only 7 minutes. (Vox)

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