U.S. Energy News

Analysis: More than half of U.S. nuclear reactors are losing money

NUCLEAR: A new analysis shows more than half of the nuclear reactors in the U.S. are losing money, with losses totaling about $2.9 billion a year. (Bloomberg)

ALSO
• U.S. House lawmakers advance legislation to allow nuclear project developers in South Carolina and Georgia to cash in on expiring tax credits. (The Hill)
• A clean energy group says the cost of Georgia Power’s Vogtle nuclear expansion is now estimated at $29 billion, which is $9 billion higher than before. (Reuters)

EMISSIONS: The Trump administration is seeking a two-year delay for oil and gas companies to follow a new rule requiring them to monitor and reduce methane leaks from their facilities. (Associated Press)

REGULATION: U.S. EPA chief Scott Pruitt tells Congress that a waiver allowing California to set tougher air quality standards than the federal government isn’t being targeted. (Los Angeles Times)

CLIMATE:
• If states had the political will, they could reduce emissions enough to meet the goals of the Paris climate accord, according to an analysis. (Carbon Brief)
• The U.S. Department of Energy confirms it will shut down an international climate office. (E&E News)

SOLAR:
• About one-third of the country’s solar workforce will be lost if Suniva wins a petition seeking to impose tariffs on imported solar cells, according to estimates by the Solar Energy Industries Association. (SEIA)
• Nevada’s governor signs a bill to reinstate a key rooftop solar policy, which is expected to bring residential installers back to the state. (Reuters)
• Construction has begun on all eight of Florida Power & Light’s solar projects totaling 600 megawatts, making it one of the largest solar expansions ever in the eastern United States. (SaintPetersBlog)

BIOFUEL: Sources say the U.S. EPA will propose renewable fuel requirements for 2018 as early as this week. (Reuters)

BIOMASS: Biomass remains a challenge in Georgia, which is so rich in forestry waste it exports it to other countries. (Southeast Energy News)

POLICY:
• A U.S. House panel advances bills to speed up the permitting process for Nevada’s Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site and weaken federal ozone pollution standards. (The Hill)
• While the bill is unlikely to pass, Michigan Democrats say a proposal for a 50 percent renewable energy standard is intended to “set up a new frontier of where we should be looking.” (Midwest Energy News)

GRID:
• Restrictions at California’s largest natural gas storage facility could pose a risk to gas and electric reliability in the southern part of the state this summer, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. (Reuters)
• Utility executives convening at an annual conference say they hope a Department of Energy grid study will reaffirm that “changes to the U.S. power mix do not threaten reliability.” (Utility Dive)

EPA: House committee members questioned EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt about how the agency will be able to fulfill its responsibilities if Congress approves a 31 percent budget cut, calling it an “untenable proposition.” (Washington Post, ThinkProgress)

COAL: As the Trump administration focuses on adding jobs in the coal industry, many coal workers say the real emphasis should be on stopping the industry’s decline. (Nashville Public Radio)

OIL AND GAS: Exxon Mobil has settled a lawsuit with dozens of residents and homeowners in Arkansas over a 2013 oil spill. (Arkansas News)

PIPELINES: Oil shippers say they were surprised by a judge’s ruling this week ordering further environmental review of the Dakota Access pipeline, but they are optimistic it won’t cause a long-term disruption of service. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY:
• The way the U.S. gets its electricity is changing, with California and Texas warming to renewables, while the East Coast switches to natural gas, says a Bloomberg columnist.
• Fleets of municipal electric vehicles can cut cities’ carbon footprints, improve public health and save taxpayers money, according to an associate professor at Rice University. (Houston Chronicle)

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