Study: Exxon misled the public on climate change

CLIMATE: ExxonMobil misled the public on what it knew about climate change and its link to fossil fuels, according to a new analysis of the company’s communications. (InsideClimate News)

EMISSIONS:
• Long commutes and cheap gas are boosting vehicle emissions in California, according to a new report. (InsideClimate News)
• The Trump administration is giving few details over how it plans to enforce restrictions on methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. (E&E News)

CAP-AND-TRADE: California raised more than $640 million this month as the state’s pollution permits reached their highest price ever, selling at nearly $1 higher than last quarter. (Associated Press)

POLICY: Researchers look at how states are replacing grid investments with energy efficiency and distributed energy, which could ultimately help distributed energy resources get paid as an integral part of the grid.

Feds halt study on the health impacts of surface coal mining

COAL: The Interior Department orders a federal agency to halt a study on the health affects associated with living near surface mining sites in Appalachia, drawing criticism from environmental groups and Democrats. (Washington Post, New York Times)

ALSO:
• The Trump administration rebuffs an industry request to use an emergency order to protect coal plants. (Associated Press)
• It isn’t likely that any major coal-fired plants will be built, even though the Trump administration vowed to revive the declining coal industry. (E&E News)
• A firm has filed a lawsuit against Duke Energy over coal-ash byproducts, saying the utility is reneging on a supply agreement. (Triangle Business Journal)
• Two neighboring Native American tribes in Montana are taking opposite approaches on whether to open their lands to coal mining. (Reuters)

PIPELINES:
• Residents brace for battle over a $3 billion natural gas pipeline project in rural Pennsylvania. (The Intercept)
• Energy Transfer’s Rover pipeline has racked up more environmental violations than other major interstate natural gas pipelines built in the last two years.

Trump disbands climate change advisory panel

CLIMATE:
• The Trump administration disbands a 15-person advisory panel that helped public- and private-sector officials incorporate the government’s climate research into long-term planning. (Washington Post)
• More Republican lawmakers are coming out in support of climate change policies. (Politico)

POLICY: Conservative groups are concerned President Trump will “expand the subsidy pool even further” for the coal and nuclear industries. (E&E News)

POLITICS:
• Democratic Senator Joe Manchin says he has no plans to become Energy Secretary, despite rumors to the contrary. (Bloomberg)
• Billionaire investor Carl Icahn steps down as an adviser to President Trump after facing criticism from lawmakers and biofuels advocates over his policy recommendations. (Reuters)

SOLAR:
• Mississippi Power Co. intends to buy all power from a $100 million solar farm that will be built in eastern Mississippi. (Associated Press)
• A new poll commissioned by solar industry groups says South Carolina voters would like the state to rely more on solar energy than sources like coal and nuclear power. (Solar Industry Magazine)

WIND: Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy announces it will lay off 140 employees at a turbine manufacturing plant in Kansas next month.

Utilities prepare for loss of solar power during eclipse

UTILITIES: Electric utilities are preparing for the loss of solar power during Monday’s eclipse — and using the event as a test run for a future with more renewables. (New York Times)

SOLAR:
• Republican members of North Carolina’s congressional delegation are opposing import tariffs on solar panels, saying they would pose a threat to thousands of clean energy jobs. (News & Observer)
• North Carolina researchers dismiss health concerns over solar panels, saying they are small and “vastly outweighed by health benefits of the generation of clean electricity.” (Southeast Energy News)
• Atlanta-based Home Depot announced it will add solar panels to 50 of its store rooftops. (Atlanta Business Chronicle)

RENEWABLES: A coalition of 10 clean-energy associations is launching a lobbying and advertising push that’s focused on how the industry creates jobs and provides reliable electricity. (Axios)

WIND: An anti-wind citizen group in Maine says proposed wind turbines could ruin the Moosehead Lake region. (Morning Sentinel)

GEOTHERMAL: CalEnergy terminates its license for a California geothermal plant that would have generated enough electricity to power about 200,000 homes.

Report: U.S. wind and solar helped save up to 12,700 lives

RENEWABLES: The emissions offset by wind and solar energy helped prevent between 3,000 and 12,7000 premature deaths in the U.S. between 2007 and 2015, while saving the country up to $220 billion, according to a new federal report. (Quartz)

WIND:
• Oklahoma’s attorney general wants utility regulators to dismiss a case that seeks permission to build the country’s biggest single-site wind farm, saying American Electric Power hasn’t proven a need for the 2,000 megawatt project and didn’t follow competitive bidding rules. (Columbus Business First)
• An environmental coalition holds a panel conference to discuss advancing offshore wind projects in New Jersey, which is has been a contentious issue in the state. (Press of Atlantic City)

SOLAR: Members of the U.S. International Trade Commission questioned why tariff protection is needed for Georgia-based Suniva if it struggled while the solar market was booming. (InsideClimate News)

STORAGE:
• A new model is predicting battery cost declines faster than previous analyses. (Greentech Media)
• Data center company Equinix will purchase 37 megawatts of fuel cells to reduce its carbon footprint at 12 data centers in California and New York, marking one of the biggest fuel cell installations to date.

Solar manufacturers say they’re ‘not out to kill the industry’

SOLAR: Troubled solar manufacturers Suniva and SolarWorld make their case for solar tariffs during a hearing at the International Trade Commission, saying they’re “not out to kill the industry.” (New York Times, Greentech Media)

ALSO:
• If the International Trade Commission sides with Suniva and SolarWorld on implementing solar tariffs, the case will quickly become political, with the final decision up to President Trump. (Greentech Media)
• The city council of El Paso, Texas, says a proposed rate increase on rooftop solar customers would harm the solar industry. (Houston Chronicle)
• A utility on the Hawaiian island of Kauai wants to provide customers with two new options to receive credit when installing a solar system: “customers self-supply” and “smart export.” (Pacific Business News)
• After a failed legislative effort to keep rooftop solar incentives in Maine, groups are challenging regulators’ new solar rule in court.

EPA plans to overhaul wastewater rule for power plants

COAL: EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt says he plans to revise a wastewater rule for power plants that the agency put on hold in April. (Associated Press)

POLITICS: The Sierra Club seeks to force the Energy Department to reveal the groups it consulted with in developing its grid reliability study. (Reuters)

FERC: New FERC chair Neil Chatterjee said Monday that coal and nuclear plants must be compensated properly “to recognize the value they provide to the system.” (Washington Examiner)

NUCLEAR:
• Efforts to give hundreds of millions of dollars in tax credits to the Vogtle nuclear project in Georgia seem stuck in the U.S. Senate as lawmakers look at a broader tax overhaul. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
• Supporters of Georgia’s troubled Vogtle nuclear plant are asking the Trump administration to help the project to ensure its completion. (Bloomberg)
• An analysis says it is likely that future plans to build full size nuclear reactors in the U.S. “are now being put on indefinite hold.” (Energy Collective)
• Former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz says the decline of the U.S. nuclear sector is a threat to national security.

Report: Emissions not expected to increase under Trump

EMISSIONS: U.S. emissions should stay relatively flat over the next few years, even with the Trump administration’s rollback of climate-friendly policies, according to a new report. (Washington Post)

POLITICS:
• EPA chief Scott Pruitt announces that his staff will gauge the “accuracy” of a major federal climate change report, saying “science should not be politicized.” (Politico)
• Some White House and Republican officials are considering West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin to lead the U.S. Department of Energy. (Bloomberg)

EPA:
• California’s attorney general is suing the EPA for documents to determine whether Administrator Scott Pruitt has a conflict of interest. (Los Angeles Times)
• EPA employees say Scott Pruitt is taking extraordinary measures to conceal his actions at the agency. (New York Times)
• The courts are proving to be a considerable obstacle to the Trump administration’s efforts to overturn and block environmental policies at the EPA.

Report: Fewer North American oil companies are filing for bankruptcy

OIL & GAS: A new report shows the number of North American oil companies filing for bankruptcy has fallen from 50 to 14 compared to the same period last year. (Houston Chronicle)

ALSO:
• A proposed natural gas export terminal on Oregon’s coast may be revived by new FERC commissioners. (Marketplace)
• A Houston-based oil and gas producer with plans to drill off the coast of Alaska has a troubling safety and environmental track record. (InsideClimate News)
• A group of Republican senators tell President Trump not to sanction Venezuelan oil companies because it could hurt U.S. refiners that depend on Venezuelan oil. (The Hill)
• Local resistance has stalled plans for offshore drilling, and only one coastal governor in the Southeast still supports it.

Appeals court delays litigation over Obama-era climate rule

CLEAN POWER PLAN: A U.S. appeals court agrees to delay litigation over the Clean Power Plan for an additional 60 days, dealing a blow to environmentalists. (E&E News)

COAL:
• Coal generation will exceed natural gas generation in 2017 and 2018, according to a report from U.S. Energy Information Administration. (Utility Dive)
• Pennsylvania-based Talen Energy says it will keep running Montana’s Colstrip Generating Station, one of the largest coal-fired power plants in the Western U.S., despite a declaration last year that a new operator would be needed by mid-2018. (Associated Press)
• Scientists studying the aftermath of a coal-ash spill in North Carolina have discovered a byproduct of coal that may pose human health risks, making burned coal even more toxic than previously thought. (Bloomberg)
• West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice also says President Trump is “really interested” and “likes the idea” of giving federal money to power plants that burn coal from Appalachia.