U.S. Energy News

US coal sector in ‘terminal decline,’ new financial analysis says

COAL: The U.S. coal sector is in a “terminal decline” that has seen 26 companies go bust, 200 mines shut down and loss of 76 percent of the industry’s value in five years, according to a new report from the Carbon Tracker Initiative. (Guardian)

WIND: Virginia is the first state in the country to secure a wind energy research lease to build and operate turbines in federal waters, Governor Terry McAuliffe announced Tuesday. (Newport News Daily Press)

FRACKING: The Maryland House of Delegates passed a three-year ban on fracking Tuesday as the Senate approved tough new legal standards for drillers. (The Baltimore Sun)

EMISSIONS:
• Coal-heavy Utah, Michigan, Missouri and Pennsylvania have sought assistance from the National Governors Association to explore various carbon-reducing options. (ClimateWire)
• Supreme Court justices will weigh arguments today about whether the EPA failed to consider industry costs before issuing a landmark air quality rule. (The Hill)
• Growing legal marijuana uses so much power that one scholar is suggesting regulation of the industry’s energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. (The Washington Post)

SOLAR:
• A bill under review by the Washington, DC, city council would guarantee the “right to the beneficial use of solar energy falling on a property owner’s rooftop” and require compensation when it is blocked. (Washington Business Journal)
• California is the first state to get more than 5 percent of its annual electricity generation from large-scale solar projects. (ThinkProgress)
• Nevada utility regulators will consider today whether to order NV Energy to do a cost-of-service analysis to see if solar customers should be put in a separate rate class and charged more. (SNL Financial)

NUCLEAR: Oregon start-up NuScale Power is preparing to ask the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to allow full commercialization of its small-scale nuclear power plant technology. (Oregon Business Journal)

FRACKING: Some 160 people from across Texas testified Monday primarily against two proposed bills to ban fracking bans in the state. (Houston Business Journal)

ARCTIC DRILLING: Shell has begun moving its drilling rigs into the Arctic, marking the clearest sign yet that the firm expects the Obama administration reaffirm its oil leases there. (Fuel Fix)

CAP-AND-TRADE: An attempt by Republican lawmakers to dismantle part of California’s cap-and-trade program to help Californians save money on gasoline died Monday in its first policy hearing. (Sacramento Business Journal)

STORAGE: New Jersey is funding more than a dozen projects to make solar and wind power more reliable by providing backup energy-storage systems for the electricity they produce. (NJ Spotlight)

EFFICIENCY: The energy savings achieved by some Cleveland businesses and city agencies have put them well ahead of the benchmarks utilities must meet under Ohio’s energy efficiency standard. (Midwest Energy News)

DIVESTMENT: Harvard students plan to appeal a Massachusetts court’s dismissal of their lawsuit to force the university to divest its endowment from fossil fuel holdings. (InsideClimate News)

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