U.S. Energy News

Big oil announces support for Republican-led carbon tax plan

CARBON TAX: Exxon Mobil and other oil industry heavyweights come out in support of a Republican-led plan to tax carbon emissions. (New York Times)

CLIMATE: In a rejection of established science, Energy Secretary Rick Perry tells a CNBC interviewer that man-made carbon dioxide emissions aren’t the leading cause of climate change. (Washington Post)

WIND: Atlantic coast states are competing to become the capital of America’s burgeoning offshore wind industry, as they seek to revive old ports. (E&E News)

SOLAR: New complaints accuse two Duke Energy utilities of stalling grid connections for solar projects. (Triangle Business Journal)

RENEWABLES:
• Academics are pushing back against a leading renewable energy roadmap developed by Stanford Professor Mark Jacobson, which claims the country can wean itself off fossil fuels entirely by 2055. (Washington Post)
• Nevada’s governor vetoes a bill that would have boosted the state’s clean energy target to 40 percent renewable power by 2030. (Bloomberg)

TRANSPORTATION: In rural Georgia, an 18-mile stretch of Interstate 85 could become the world’s first sustainable road that creates its own renewable energy. (Los Angeles Times)

GRID:
• Wind and solar energy pose no threat to the country’s power grid, according to a new study commissioned by renewable energy lobbying groups. (Reuters)
• Grid operator PJM publishes three documents on ways to move its policies forward as more distributed generation comes online and as states consider carbon-pricing rules. (RTO Insider)

UTILITIES: Analysts say low prices at the PJM Interconnection’s most recent capacity auction could signal the end of a plant-building boom. (Utility Dive)

OIL & GAS:
• Pittsburgh-based EQT Corp. will become the largest U.S. natural gas producer after agreeing to buy holdings in the Marcellus shale in Appalachia. (Bloomberg)
• Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says extracting fossil fuels from protected federal lands can help the U.S. become a “dominant” global energy force. (Reuters)

POLLUTION:
• The shale oil boom in Texas has caused air pollution, water contamination, soil erosion and earthquakes, according to a new study. (Houston Chronicle)
• The U.S. Supreme Court dismisses a case that sought to make Chevron pay $8.65 billion for polluting the Ecuadorean rain forest — a fine that was issued against the oil company by a court in Ecuador. (Reuters)

COAL:
• Activists want insurance companies to divest from coal projects and stop insuring the industry. (Huffington Post)
• Duke Energy withdraws a request to use chemicals that would reduce air pollution from coal-fired plants but increase contaminants in Charlotte’s drinking water. (Charlotte Observer)
• As Ohio lawmakers consider subsidies for two uneconomic coal plants, a new report shows market forces — especially lower prices from shale gas development — are behind the general decline of coal plants’ competitiveness. (Midwest Energy News)
• New U.S. Energy Information figures show coal is still the dominant generation fuel in the Midwest. (Utility Dive)

NUCLEAR: Energy Secretary Rick Perry says nuclear power is “a very important part” of an all-of-the-above energy strategy. (CNBC)

EPA: President Trump’s top candidate for Deputy EPA Administrator is a fossil fuel lobbyist who has spent years fighting against environmental regulations. (ThinkProgress)

COMMENTARY:
• Putting commercial spent fuel into interim storage is a good idea that would save billions of dollars in energy and waste disposal, but defense waste should have its own repository, says a columnist for Forbes.
• A Republican-led carbon tax plan would strengthen the U.S. economy and pay huge dividends for the global climate, according to a fellow at the Hoover Institution and a past president of Harvard University. (Washington Post)

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