U.S. Energy News

Battery cell production begins at Tesla Gigafactory

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Tesla and Panasonic start mass producing lithium-ion battery cells at Tesla’s giant Gigafactory in Nevada, promising to hire “several thousand” workers. (Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post)
• Chinese-backed electric vehicle company Faraday Future unveils a new high-speed car but the company’s future remains unclear. (Greentech Media)

SOLAR: Two prominent solar industry groups merge to form a committee-style body called the Solar Energy Finance Association, which will become part of the Solar Energy Industries Association. (Greentech Media)

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CLIMATE: A small group of Republicans are trying to refute the idea that the GOP consistently denies climate change. (The Atlantic)

UTILITIES:
• A new utility program in Vermont is hoping to save money by helping residents produce enough renewable energy to go off the grid. (Renewable Energy World)
• After significantly scaling back its efficiency efforts, an Ohio utility is moving forward with a new plan that includes key changes sought by advocates. (Midwest Energy News)

COAL:
• Charlotte-based Duke Energy may have spilled coal ash during heavy rains in North Carolina, drawing criticism from a regional environmental group. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• An appeals court rules that a federal court was correct in its judgement that coal operators in West Virginia must comply with water quality pollution standards. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• The outlook for coal plants in Texas is unclear as Donald Trump prepares to take office. (Energywire)

OIL & GAS:
• Ohio will add two new gas-fired power plants, bringing the total number of plants under development in the state to at least 10. (Columbus Business First)
• The president of the oil industry’s top lobbying group says companies are looking forward to a pro-oil, anti-regulation agenda under Donald Trump. (The Hill)

PIPELINES:
• How the mood has changed at the Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp in North Dakota. (NPR)
• A federal grand jury is looking into a violent November clash between pipeline opponents and officers in North Dakota, in which protesters say a woman was injured by a grenade thrown by police. (Associated Press)

BIOFUELS: The EPA wants to revoke Genscape’s ability to verify biofuels compliance credits after the company failed to detect a massive fraud. (Reuters)

NUCLEAR: Workers at the country’s only underground repository store nuclear waste at the New Mexico facility for the first time in nearly three years. (Carlsbad Current-Argus)

POLITICS:
• Secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson says he will cash out $240 million in Exxon shares and surrender the funds to an independently managed trust to avoid conflicts of interest. (Bloomberg)
• An environmental group says it will spend at least $100,000 on an advertising campaign against Donald Trump’s pick to head the EPA, Scott Pruitt. (The Hill)

POLICY: House Republicans say they will prioritize repealing the Obama administration’s rules on coal mining and methane emissions. (The Hill)

COMMENTARY:
• Despite optimistic market outlooks for renewable energy, serious reforms are still needed to curb climate change. (Utility Dive)
Why federal policy is still critical for decarbonizing the economy. (Vox)

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