U.S. Energy News

“We’re not dead yet”: Scientists say progress still possible on climate

CLIMATE: Scientists say that while some effects of climate change are already locked in for decades, there’s still hope to head off the worst impacts. (New York Times)

ALSO:
• The Congressional Budget Office projects that climate change will lead to a 1% decline in U.S. GDP by 2050. (The Hill)
• EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler hesitates to connect climate change to increasingly intense severe weather events. (The Hill)
• A new report warns oil companies will have to unload $111 billion in assets in coming years as countries shift to clean energy. (Houston Chronicle)
The Vermont Senate follows House action and overrides Gov. Phil Scot’s veto of the Global Warming Solutions Act, making it state law. (VT Digger)

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COURTS:
• The Trump administration’s string of unfavorable court rulings on environmental rollbacks could change if the president is re-elected with a conservative Supreme Court majority. (New York Times)
• Experts say Justice Brett Kavanaugh could become the new swing vote on environmental cases before the Supreme Court. (E&E News)

POLICY:
• Democrats and Republicans are deeply divided over a clean energy bill moving through the House. (E&E News, subscription)
• House Republicans are pursuing legislation that reinforces President Trump’s rollback of the National Environmental Policy Act. (The Hill)

CLEAN ENERGY: Maine approves the largest procurement of clean energy in state history with the vast majority of projects awarded to solar developers. (Portland Press Herald)

SOLAR: For a second time in a month, Montana’s Supreme Court rules against state regulators on a solar project, this time saying the PSC “chose unlawful methodologies” that made a proposed 80 MW project uneconomical. (Billings Gazette)

EFFICIENCY: State regulators and New Jersey’s largest utility agree to a scaled back energy efficiency program that costs significantly less than proposed and runs for only half the original time frame. (NJ Spotlight)

BIOMASS: In a letter signaling their intent to sue, three environmental groups accuse a South Carolina wood pellet manufacturer of “significant, repeated, and ongoing” Clean Air Act violations. (Charlotte Observer)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
Six major utilities across the Midwest sign a pledge to build out an interstate, fast-charging EV network over the next two years. (MLive)
Tesla says new battery technology will enable it to produce a $25,000 mass-market electric car. (Washington Post)
• An electric vehicle battery plant northeast of Atlanta plans to hire more than 1,000 skilled workers by the end of 2021 as it prepares for production. (Green Car Congress)

UTILITIES: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot tells ComEd the city will not renew its utility agreement unless the company commits to ethics reforms, ends residential disconnections and helps with the city’s clean energy goals. (Chicago Sun-Times)

TECHNOLOGY: A tidal energy company in Maine believes it is on the cusp of wider acceptance as it prepares to power a microgrid for a coastal town. (Energy News Network)

ACTIVISM: Facebook suspended the accounts of several environmental groups a day before a pipeline protest; the company later said it was a mistake but didn’t elaborate. (The Guardian)

COMMENTARY:
• An Illinois utility watchdog says a news report about its taking money from utility-funded foundations “perpetuated numerous misconceptions and included misstatements.” (Citizens Utility Board)
• The co-founder of a youth activist group says “adults are asleep at the wheel” on climate change. (Washington Post)

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