U.S. Energy News

Under Trump, environmental policy in hands of those who fought it

OVERSIGHT: Most of the people in charge of environmental policy in the Trump administration have ties to the fossil fuel industry or have fought against environmental regulations they are now supposed to enforce. (New York Times)

PIPELINES: “I was just flabbergasted.” Activists fighting against a planned Atlantic Coast Pipeline compressor station in Union Hill, Virginia, react to last week’s federal court ruling against the project. (Energy News Network)

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OIL & GAS:
• The cost to plug orphaned oil and gas wells in Ohio could reach $2 billion as the number of confirmed wells continues to grow. (Energy News Network)
• Attorneys general for 15 states oppose the Trump administration’s plan to allow rail shipments of liquefied natural gas. (Associated Press)
The head of the Texas Oil and Gas Association says his group agrees fossil fuels contribute to global warming and are “committed to a lower emissions future.” (Houston Public Media)
The Trump administration is delaying its Arctic Refuge oil and gas development leasing plans to strengthen its legal case. (Anchorage Daily News)
Environmental groups are suing the Trump administration over its fracking plans for public lands in California, citing an inadequate federal analysis on environmental and health impacts. (The Hill)

RENEWABLES:
The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects three-quarters of new U.S. generating capacity in 2020 will come from renewables. (Greentech Media)
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo says she will issue an executive order pledging the state to run on 100% renewable energy by 2030. (Associated Press)

SOLAR: The Southeast will likely have strong solar capacity growth over the next decade despite the phase-out of federal subsidies, according to a research firm’s report. (S&P Global) 

TRANSPORTATION: Massachusetts officials say they remain fully committed to a regional cap-and-trade plan for transportation emissions as some governors hesitate. (Boston Globe)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Four key questions will decide whether the 2020s become the decade of the electric vehicle, experts say. (E&E News)
• A U.S. senator from Nevada asks technology and ride-hailing companies for ideas to increase the use of electric vehicles. (E&E News, subscription)

COAL:
The United Mine Workers’ Union is a shadow of its former self, but the group just won a major victory by getting pensions and healthcare guaranteed by Congress. (E&E News)
• Kansas clean energy groups and the state’s largest utility hope a series of recommendations in a consultant’s report, including allowing securitization for uneconomic coal plants, will prompt new legislation this session. (Energy News Network, Utility Dive)
• An Illinois agency approves plans for a pipeline to move millions of gallons of mining waste to the Big Muddy River. (Southern Illinoisan)
A new Western Organization of Resource Councils report raises concerns over who pays for coal mining cleanups. (Wyoming Public Media)
• Residents in a former coal mining town in southeastern Ohio are repurposing pollution from acid mine drainage into paints. (Grist)

COAL ASH: A bill introduced in the Georgia legislature would require coal ash to be disposed of under guidelines at least as stringent as household trash, in lined landfills. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

EMISSIONS:
• Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and conservation groups want more action from state lawmakers towards aggressively reducing greenhouse gas emissions. (Investigate West)
• Federal agencies submit plans to the White House that would reduce fuel economy standards for new vehicles through 2026. (Reuters)
• Carbon offsets are not a solution to the climate crisis, experts say, but they can have benefits and might help buy the planet a bit of time. (Wired)

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POLLUTION: The multi-state agency overseeing the Ohio River lacks the authority to regulate mercury pollution, which can come from a variety of sources including power plants. (Environmental Health News)

POLITICS: Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg says he would use building codes to prohibit fossil-fuel burning stoves and heaters in all new buildings by 2025. (Washington Post) 

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