U.S. Energy News

Wind installations surge as developers race tax credit phaseout

WIND: The country’s wind industry reported the largest number of first-quarter installations in eight years, as developers seek to maximize tax credits. (Reuters)

SOLAR:
• Indiana’s governor signs a bill that slashes net metering rates for residential solar customers to about 4 cents per kilowatt hour. (Nexus Media)
• As solar prices continue to drop, consumers have more choices and industry transparency is greater than ever before, according to a new report. (Greentech Media)

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RENEWABLE ENERGY: President Trump appoints a conservative critic of renewable energy to oversee the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), according to an email sent to employees on Monday. (Washington Post)

NUCLEAR: Congress’s budget plan excludes a provision that extends the deadline for nuclear power plants to receive tax credits, which raises questions about whether South Carolina’s V.C. Summer project will be completed. (Post and Courier)

OIL AND GAS:
• President Trump’s order seeking to expand offshore drilling in the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic oceans is sparking opposition from both Democratic and Republican lawmakers from coastal states. (ThinkProgress)
• Investigators say a leaking natural gas pipeline was responsible for a home explosion in Colorado that killed two people. (Associated Press)
• Conservation groups are suing the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management to stop fracking in Ohio’s only national forest, saying federal agencies failed to properly consider the environmental and health risks. (Reuters)
• Opponents of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline are increasing pressure on Democratic candidates running for governor in Virginia. (Southeast Energy News)

COAL:
• A Sierra Club campaign has pushed dozens of coal plants into retirement by helping concerned citizens weigh in when local decisions are made. (Yale Climate Connections)
• The average annual wage for top coal industry executives grew up to five times as fast as coal workers’ over the last 13 years, according to government data. (New York Times)
• An Arizona utility regulator wants state utilities and the federal government to help keep a massive coal plant running beyond its scheduled 2019 closure date, while other players are working on a deal of their own. (Arizona Republic, Phoenix Business Journal)
• Half of the country’s coal jobs are located in just 25 counties in nine states. (Quartz)

COAL ASH: Duke Energy notifies state regulators that it will file a rate increase proposal in North Carolina on June 1 in an effort to cover its costs for coal ash cleanup and other expenses. (Charlotte Business Journal)

STORAGE: Over 35 percent of Tesla’s power storage capacity has been deployed to microgrids on five islands, according to a new report. (Greentech Media)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Michigan school districts could use millions of dollars from the Volkswagen settlement to purchase electric buses. (Midwest Energy News)

CLIMATE:
• A conservative think tank is petitioning the EPA to reconsider its finding that greenhouse gases are endangering health, which is the basis for the development of the Clean Power Plan. (ThinkProgress)
• Sources say President Trump is leaning towards exiting the Paris climate agreement, which could happen as early as next week. (Washington Post)

CAP-AND-TRADE: A new proposal would replace California’s current cap-and-trade program with a scheme to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while directing revenues to low-income and vulnerable communities. (Washington Post)

COMMENTARY:
• An important rule that regulates companies’ methane emissions is still under threat, as the Senate decides whether to vote to repeal it, says the New York Times editorial board.
• By promising to restore coal jobs, President Trump is telling communities that the best hope they have “is to be trapped in a dying industry that will poison them,” says former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg. (Washington Post)

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