U.S. Energy News

Xcel Energy pledges to go carbon-free by 2050

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UTILITIES: Xcel Energy commits to achieving 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2050 across all eight states it serves. (Greentech Media)

ALSO:
• Xcel’s announcement Tuesday in Denver may have also revived a long debate over the viability of carbon capture technology. (Energy News Network)
• Ohio consumer advocates say a proposed deal with state regulators involving FirstEnergy earnings is “contributing to the electric utilities’ subsidy culture” to the detriment of ratepayers. (Energy News Network)

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COAL:
• The Trump administration is expected to announce regulatory rollbacks aimed at making it easier to build new coal plants. (New York Times)
• U.S. coal consumption drops to its lowest level since 1979, according to a report from the Energy Information Administration. (Associated Press)
• Producers often use a testing lab at the University of North Dakota to gain certification for refined “clean coal” to qualify for federal tax credits. (Reuters)

NUCLEAR: Supreme Court justices seem to support Virginia’s ban on uranium mining and were reluctant to guess the intentions of its state legislature. The case has put a Virginia county at a crossroads. (New York Times, Energy News Network archives)

SOLAR:
• Virginia solar developers learn how to integrate projects with their surroundings to ease land-use disputes. (Energy News Network)
• New Mexico regulators approve a plan by the state’s largest utility to build five new solar plants to help meet its goal of getting 20 percent of its retail sales from clean energy. (Albuquerque Journal)
• AEP’s plan for two major solar projects in Appalachian Ohio could be a “landmark case” for solar in Ohio, the company says. (Columbus Business First)

WIND:
• An enormous, experimental “energy kite” under development by Google’s parent company could offer a new way to harness wind power. (NBC News)
• As wind development expands in North Dakota, landowners are increasingly wary of the impacts on land and quality of life. (Christian Science Monitor)

STORAGE: U.S. grid operators file plans with federal regulators on how they plan to integrate energy storage into wholesale power markets. (Utility Dive)

OIL & GAS:
• The Trump administration’s “energy dominance” agenda is rolling back protections for public lands at a record-setting rate, according to a new study. (The Guardian)
• Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke praises the oil and gas industry at an industry meeting and criticized millennials’ concerns about climate change. (HuffPost)
• West Virginia’s Speaker of the House is also a lawyer for natural gas companies and recently introduced legislation to limit legal challenges that slowed natural gas growth in the state. (ProPublica/Charleston Gazette-Mail)

VOLKSWAGEN SETTLEMENT:
• Wisconsin allocates $32 million in Volkswagen settlement funds to replace aging diesel-powered public transit buses across the state. (Milwaukee Business Journal)
• Illinois’ first round of funding delivers $19 million for public transit vehicles. (Associated Press)

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CLEAN TECH: A new $37 million innovation center at the Illinois Institute of Technology aims to foster partnerships between engineering students and faculty on various clean energy projects. (Energy News Network)

POLITICS:
• Protesting the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota spurred U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s run for Congress and commitment to climate change issues. (E&E News, subscription)
A South Carolina senator who says he was elected due to offshore drilling opposition pledges to fight the Trump administration’s move to allow seismic testing in the Atlantic. (E&E News, subscription)

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