Company will close two coal-fired power plants in Texas

COAL: Vistra Energy Corp says its subsidiary will close two coal-fired plants in Texas that are “economically challenged,” laying off about 600 people next year. (Greentech Media, The Hill)

ALSO:
• The upcoming closure of a coal-fired power plant in Arizona could economically devastate the Navajo tribe. (Bloomberg)
• The nation’s coal industry is finding little relief from the planned elimination of the Clean Power Plan. (Los Angeles Times)

PIPELINES:
• FERC conditionally approves the controversial Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines in a 2-1 vote, with the dissenter saying she could not support the projects “given the environmental impacts and possible superior alternatives.” (Associated Press)
• Experts say two high-profile setbacks dealt to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline by North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration are not necessarily a sign the project is in trouble. (Southeast Energy News)
• FERC rejected conducting an examination of how the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines fit in the nation’s energy policy and sidestepped concerns about the long-term environmental effects. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• FERC’s chairman says a court ruling in August that requires the agency to consider the impact of greenhouse gas emissions from natural gas pipelines won’t have a “significant” impact on its reviews.

Lawmakers grill Energy Secretary on plan to support coal and nuclear

POLICY:
• Lawmakers on the House Energy and Commerce Committee grill Energy Secretary Rick Perry on his proposal to financially support coal and nuclear plants, saying the rule would be anti-competitive and destroy electricity markets. (The Hill)
• Meanwhile, Rick Perry tells the congressional hearing that his plan to support nuclear plants with incentives will boost national security. (Reuters)

POLITICS: A new Frontline documentary details the Trump administration’s effort to cater to the fossil fuel industry by scrapping environmental regulations. (Common Dreams)

***SPONSORED LINK: Recognizing the work some the many Midwest clean energy leaders — a list of Midwest Energy News 40 Under 40 honorees is now online.***

CARBON TAX: Research shows that most voters support a carbon tax and are willing to pay nearly 15 percent more for energy to help support one, but the Trump administration refuses it consider it. (Huffington Post)

CLIMATE:
• Coal boss Robert Murray tells interviewers that “mankind is not affecting climate change” and “the Earth has cooled for the last 19 years.”

EPA report slashes estimated cost of CO2 emissions

CLEAN POWER PLAN: An EPA document that analyzes the costs and benefits of repealing the Clean Power Plan calculates the cost of CO2 emissions at between $1 and $6 per ton, down from a $45 per ton estimate made by the Obama administration. (Washington Post)

ALSO:
• A 38-page, four-year EPA plan fails to mention climate change or greenhouse gas emissions. (The Hill)
• For the power industry, the repeal of the Clean Power Plan may be more symbolic than significant. (Greentech Media)
• Ohio advocates say repealing the Clean Power Plan would not outweigh other factors that are making coal plants uneconomic there, and warn of the health impacts of delaying a transition away from coal. (Midwest Energy News)
• San Antonio’s city-owned utility says the EPA’s decision to scrap the Clean Power Plan does not affect its plans to decommission a coal-fired power plant next year. (San Antonio Business Journal)

***SPONSORED LINK: Recognizing the work some the many Midwest clean energy leaders — a list of Midwest Energy News 40 Under 40 honorees is now online.***

POLICY:
• An energy policy think tank that endorsed President Trump says a DOE proposal to prop up coal and nuclear plants is “excessive and unnecessarily distortive.” (The Hill)
• FERC denies requests from energy industry groups to slow down a 60-day review of a DOE proposal to prop up coal and nuclear plants. (Greentech Media)
• An unusual coalition of business and environmental groups oppose the DOE’s plan to boost nuclear and coal power plants and are pressuring the Trump administration to shift course.

Experts say it could take years to replace Clean Power Plan

CLEAN POWER PLAN: Industry leaders and environmental activists say the Trump administration could delay replacing the Clean Power Plan for years. (New York Times)

ALSO:
• The EPA formally begins the process of rescinding the Clean Power Plan, ending an Obama-era rule designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector. (Washington Post)
• The Clean Power Plan would have averted up to 3,600 premature deaths and saved up to $34 billion in health costs each year, and abandoning it deals “a one-two punch to human health and the environment.” (Vox, Quartz)
• Climate advocacy groups and the state of New York are pledging to take the EPA to court for repealing the Clean Power Plan. (Albany Business Review, Common Dreams)
• A new analysis shows how each state will be affected by the Clean Power Plan repeal. (New York Times)

***SPONSORED LINK: Recognizing the work some the many Midwest clean energy leaders — a list of Midwest Energy News 40 Under 40 honorees is now online.***

MICROGRIDS: California’s energy agencies want to boost the state’s microgrid market.

EPA chief to announce formal plan to repeal Clean Power Plan today

CLEAN POWER PLAN: EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt tells coal miners in Kentucky that he will repeal the Clean Power Plan today, ending an Obama-era rule designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector. (Washington Post)

ALSO:
• Massachusetts is pledging to sue the Trump administration for scrapping the Clean Power Plan. (Associated Press)
• Repealing the Clean Power Plan could thwart Maryland’s efforts to decrease air pollution emitted from out-of-state plants. (Baltimore Sun)
• The repeal is also unlikely to help the coal industry in Montana and New Mexico. (Billings Gazette, New Mexican)
• Rolling back the Clean Power Plan won’t happen overnight, as the administration will need to gather public input and then likely face court challenges.

Utility announces closure plans for giant coal plant in Texas

COAL:
• An 1,800-megawatt coal-fired plant in Texas will close permanently in 2018. (Houston Chronicle)
• Up to 30 workers at an underground coal mine in Montana could run out of work by the end of the month due to a judge’s ruling, as Signal Peak Energy fights to appeal the order. (Associated Press)

OIL & GAS:
• An Alaskan senator may use drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as a bargaining chip for tax reform. (Vox)
• Oil companies are working to restore operations after Hurricane Nate. (Bloomberg)

PIPELINES:
• An environmental review of the Dakota Access pipeline is going to take longer than expected, with a completion date in April 2018.

Trump nominates coal lobbyist for EPA deputy administrator

POLITICS:
• President Trump nominates a coal industry lobbyist and former congressional staffer as deputy administrator of the EPA, drawing criticism from environmental groups. (New York Times)
• The Interior Department reopens 10 million acres of sage grouse habitat in six Western states to potential mining, reversing an Obama-era action to protect the bird. (Deseret News)

POLICY: Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s plan for price supports for coal and nuclear plants draws criticism from a wide range of groups. (Greentech Media)

***SPONSORED LINK: For the first time ever, a home energy use estimate is available for almost every home in the U.S. Find out how this new tool is emerging and what it means for the real estate industry in An MPG For Homes, a report from Rocky Mountain Institute.***

REGULATION: In nixing the Clean Power Plan, the Trump administration may limit how the government calculates benefits from curbing emissions and air pollution. (Politico)

WIND:
• A panel in Delaware will recommend strategies for developing wind power and job opportunities in the offshore wind industry.

Judge orders Trump administration to reinstate methane rule

REGULATION: A federal judge orders the Interior Department to immediately reinstate an Obama-era regulation that limits methane emissions from oil and gas production on federal lands, saying the department failed to give a reasoned explanation for trying to delay the rule. (E&E News, Washington Post)

ALSO:
• An internal EPA document lays the groundwork for repealing the Clean Power Plan and replacing it with new regulations. (New York Times)
• An overview of 48 environmental rules that the Trump administration has sought to reverse. (New York Times)

POLICY: Lawmakers have a lukewarm reaction to Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s plan to boost coal and nuclear power. (Houston Chronicle, Utility Dive)

RENEWABLES:
• The International Energy Agency expects global renewable electricity capacity to rise 43 percent by 2022, with the U.S. being the second-largest renewables growth market due to tax incentives and state-level policies.

Officials hear final arguments over whether to adopt solar tariffs

SOLAR:
• Federal officials hear final arguments on whether to impose tariffs on imported solar equipment in the Suniva-SolarWorld case, as states brace for potential job impacts. (Greentech Media, Texas Tribune)
• Recent hurricanes are driving interest in prefabricated homes equipped for solar power, particularly in the Florida Keys and Virgin Islands. (InsideClimate News)

STORAGE: Tesla may be struggling to meet energy-storage delivery commitments to Australia after switching cell suppliers. (Greentech Media)

***SPONSORED LINK: For the first time ever, a home energy use estimate is available for almost every home in the U.S. Find out how this new tool is emerging and what it means for the real estate industry in An MPG For Homes, a report from Rocky Mountain Institute.***

WIND:
• New York proposes four new sites for wind energy projects in the Atlantic Ocean. (Associated Press)
• Alliant Energy announces plans to start construction on a 300 megawatt wind farm in northwest Iowa.

Experts say Energy Department proposal could ‘blow the market up’

REGULATION: Experts say a recent Department of Energy proposal to cover the costs of baseload coal and nuclear generators could “blow the market up” if it’s adopted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. (Utility Dive)

ALSO:
• The outcome of the Energy Department’s proposal to support baseload coal and nuclear plants will come down to FERC members and “how much they are willing to assert their independence from the Trump administration’s pro-coal agenda.” (RTO Insider)
• If approved by FERC, some experts say the proposed rules — along with potential tariffs on imported solar panels — could also hobble renewables. (Bloomberg)

SOLAR:
• Suniva and SolarWorld will argue for tariffs and quotas on imported solar equipment during an International Trade Commission hearing today. (Portland Business Journal)
• A solar project on several buildings along a major rail corridor in Minneapolis-St. Paul is being studied to determine how distributed energy could impact future transit investments. (Midwest Energy News)

WIND: Clean energy groups urge Wisconsin regulators to approve a 66 megawatt wind project in Iowa proposed by Madison Gas & Electric.