Energy execs see bright future for renewables, even with low gas prices

RENEWABLES: A majority of energy executives in a recent survey say renewables will provide more than half of U.S. energy by 2045, even with low natural gas prices. (Platts)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: The main opposition to the federal rules wants the U.S. EPA to stop fulfilling requests for information as the plan is being challenged in court. (ClimateWire)

• Sunrun drops its public records lawsuit against Nevada's governor as the two parties announce a commitment to advance solar in the state. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
• What one million solar installations in the U.S. means in context. (InsideClimate News)
• A new report documents how a big share of solar's latest growth is occurring in states without mandates.

Nevada utility loses its largest customer

UTILITIES: MGM Resorts is leaving Nevada Power to purchase its own electricity on the wholesale market; the company represented nearly 5 percent of the utility's load. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

• New York regulators approve structural changes aimed at better aligning utility policy with consumer interests. (Greentech Media)
• Utah's Supreme Court upholds a $134 million fine in a trade secret case involving a new natural gas-fired power plant. (Deseret News)

HYDRO: Climate change and resulting low water levels could spell the end for the southwest's biggest dams. (New York Times)

• Solar growth is "rampant" in Utah, with more than 850 MW of new capacity coming online by next year. (Deseret News)
• A West Virginia company joins with online retailer Etsy to sell rooftop solar systems. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• A new 52 megawatt solar system under construction for Mississippi Power will double the amount of renewable power on the state's grid.

Texas Republican launches investigation into New York climate investigation

CLIMATE: An analysis finds the "carbon budget" to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees will run out in five years. (Carbon Brief)

• A Republican congressman launches a probe into New York's investigation of oil company climate disclosures. (New York Times)
• Documents show oil companies had the technology to limit carbon emissions in the 1960s, but "clearly preferred to invest in research to explain away the climate risks." (Huffington Post)

ACTIVISM: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission barred the public from its monthly meeting yesterday in anticipation of fracking and climate protests. (EnergyWire)

GRID: The Department of Energy says solar growth will require "unprecedented coordination" on upgrading the grid.

Study: Clean Power Plan would have minimal impact on electricity prices

• An EIA outlook projects 40,000 megawatts of coal power would stay online if the federal rules are rejected in court. (Columbus Business First)
• The EIA also says electricity prices would be modestly impacted by the rules, growing by roughly 3 percent in the later years than without it. (ClimateWire)
• Pennsylvania continues work on Clean Power Plan compliance, but won't submit anything to the EPA until court challenges are resolved. (NPR)

CLIMATE: Researchers say atmospheric CO2 levels may have topped 400 ppm for good. (InsideClimate News)

BIOFUELS: The EPA proposes a modest increase in the Renewable Fuel Standard, disappointing both the oil and ethanol industries.

Clean Power Plan would push coal to 18% of U.S. electricity

CLEAN POWER PLAN: Implementation of the plan would drive coal's share of U.S. power generating sources to 18% by 2040, down from a peak of 50% in 2005. (Platts)

ALSO: Both proponents and opponents of the plan say a federal court's decision to hold an "en banc" review gives them an advantage. (EnergyWire)

• Health care giant Kaiser Permanente plans to eliminate or offset 100 percent of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. (San Francisco Chronicle)
• In a lawsuit brought by a youth activism group, a court rules Massachusetts must impose cuts in greenhouse gas emissions to comply with a 2008 state law. (InsideClimate News)
• Carbon emissions from power plants have fallen to their lowest level in decades.

Clean Power Plan hearing delay may speed things up

CLEAN POWER PLAN: A federal court's decision to delay a hearing on the Clean Power Plan until September could actually speed up the overall process. (Washington Post)

ALSO: A Justice Department official says the EPA is likely not breaking the law by helping states comply with the plan despite the Supreme Court's delay. (Bloomberg)

CLIMATE: Attorneys general from Texas and Alabama back Exxon as the company fights an investigation into its climate disclosures. (InsideClimate News)

• New York's "full value tariff" could rewrite the rules on rate design for solar. (Greentech Media)
• Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection joins advocates in opposing proposed changes to net metering rules.

Investment firms seek reinstatement of Ohio energy standards

OHIO: Investment firms representing $15 billion in assets urge Gov. John Kasich to restore the state's renewable energy and efficiency standards. (Columbus Business First)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: A federal court's decision to delay a hearing on the Clean Power Plan until September could actually speed up the overall process. (Washington Post)

• Activist shareholders of FirstEnergy push resolutions seeking more disclosure on lobbying expenses as well as financial risks in existing coal plants. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
• A report says increasing engagement with members will be a key tactic for rural co-ops as they face future energy challenges. (Midwest Energy News)
• American Electric Power says its proposed rate plan extension will lower bills for Ohio customers.

April continues string of shattered temperature records

CLIMATE: Last month was the hottest April on record, the latest in a string of shattered global temperature records. (The Guardian)

• Federal officials might deny a public land lease to a climate activist who pledges not to tap oil and gas resources on the land. (Palm Springs Desert Sun)
• Protests over the weekend target the Aliso Canyon natural gas facility, a Chicago-area refinery, a New York oil hub, and a railway in Washington state. (Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Associated Press)
• The Union of Concerned Scientists warns that suing oil companies over their grasp of climate change would not be legally sound. (Washington Free Beacon)

CARBON CAPTURE: The Energy Department suspends funding for a Texas carbon capture project.

Pipeline rupture beneath Straits of Mackinac could cost up to $1 billion

PIPELINES: A spill from an oil pipeline beneath the Straits of Mackinac in Michigan could cost as much as $1 billion to clean up, according to state documents. (MLive)

CLIMATE: Hundreds of activists target a refinery near Chicago as part of a national day of protests targeting the fossil fuel industry. (Chicago Tribune)

POLITICS: A loophole for LLCs in Indiana's campaign finance law enabled a firm tied to an Ohio coal company to donate $95,000 to Gov. Mike Pence. (Associated Press)

EFFICIENCY: A Minnesota utility's program helps small municipalities engage citizens and businesses on energy efficiency. (Midwest Energy News)

• The EPA says new methane rules will increase wholesale natural gas costs less than 1 percent.

Facebook, Microsoft and others launch major clean-energy push

RENEWABLES: Facebook, Microsoft and other companies form a Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance aimed at supporting 60 GW of clean energy by 2025. (Bloomberg)

• Major U.S. companies are already fueling "spectacular" growth in renewable energy sales. (Financial Times)
• A report reveals companies that have purchased 100% of their electricity from renewable sources. (Quartz)
• Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz explains why Texas should develop a clean energy plan. (Texas Tribune)

• The Obama administration issues the first regulations designed to cut methane emissions from new oil and gas operations. (New York Times)
• Colorado, which has already adopted tougher methane rules, is starting to see other benefits.