U.S. Energy News

Utilities continue shift to cheaper, lower-carbon power

UTILITIES: A new Midwest utility created by a merger last year pledges to ramp up renewables and cut emissions 80% by 2050 despite a lack of requirements in Kansas and Missouri where it operates. (Greentech Media)

ALSO:
The CEO of Atlanta’s Southern Co. was once a coal defender but now promotes cheaper sources of energy and a “low-to-no” carbon future. (Bloomberg)
A California lawmaker introduces legislation that would initiate a government takeover of PG&E and turn it into a public entity. (Los Angeles Times)

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TRANSPORTATION: Higher federal fuel economy standards have resulted in vehicles that emit less carbon but more particulate pollution. (Grist) 

OIL & GAS:
• Chevron writes to three appellate courts arguing that all climate liability lawsuits against fossil fuel companies belong in federal court. (Drilled)
• Advocates praise Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s response to climate change but are troubled by his embrace of an emerging petrochemical industry made possible by the state’s shale gas reserves. (StateImpact Pennsylvania)
Low U.S. gas prices are spurring foreign companies to consider developing new LNG export projects in Texas and Louisiana. (S&P Global)

PIPELINES: Minnesota regulators give three key approvals to the Line 3 pipeline replacement project, though critics vow more legal challenges. (MPR News)

WIND:
A federal review for the Vineyard Wind offshore project is not expected until December, according to a Massachusetts official. (CommonWealth Magazine)
Xcel Energy expects more than 11,000 MW of wind energy on its system by the end of the year, the most of any utility in the western hemisphere. (Recharge)
Critics worry Dominion Energy’s offshore wind plan in Virginia will be expensive for ratepayers and force out competition. (E&E News, subscription)

SOLAR:
• Without more funding for renewable energy credits, Illinois’ solar markets — especially community solar — could skid to a stop. (Greentech Media)
• States and municipalities continue to work through regulatory questions as the community solar market grows. (Power Magazine)

COAL:
Coal workers, small business owners, and local politicians are calling on Wyoming’s utility regulator to hold off transitioning from coal, expressing concerns about the economic impacts of doing so. (WyoFile)
An Indiana bill meant to slow the retirement of coal plants passes the state House and moves to the Senate. (Indianapolis Star)
The closure of a North Carolina coal plant fuels a debate over the benefits and costs of transitioning power plants to natural gas. (E&E News, subscription)

TRANSMISSION: Opponents of a Maine transmission line submit enough signatures to force a statewide ballot referendum in the fall. (Maine Public)

EFFICIENCY: A report ranks Honolulu and New York as national leaders for incorporating efficiency and renewables into resilience planning. (Utility Dive)

STORAGE: Two New York utilities explain lessons learned as they work to meet the state’s aggressive energy storage targets in the next few years. (Utility Dive)

GEOTHERMAL: Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists are developing experimental geothermal batteries to heat homes. (Knoxville News Sentinel)

CLIMATE: Indigenous tribes have been at the forefront of climate resilience and adaptation planning, with at least 50 tribes developing plans. (Grist)

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POLITICS:
Democratic presidential candidates are divided on fracking, with Bernie Sanders calling for a ban and Joe Biden defending drilling. (HuffPost)
Unlike in past campaigns, biofuels have not been a controversial issue among Democratic presidential candidates, most of whom support them. (Vox)

COMMENTARY:
Black and indigenous communities face the bulk of the environmental burden from the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Rev. Dr. William Barber writes. (NBC News)
• An Illinois clean energy advocate grew up in Lansing, Michigan, near a coal plant that has helped influence his activism. (Natural Resources Defense Council)

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