U.S. Energy News

‘Bring on more renewables,’ outgoing federal regulator says ahead of U.S. grid study

NOTE TO READERS: U.S. Energy News is taking a break for Independence Day. The email digest will return on Wednesday, July 5. 

GRID: An outgoing member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says renewable energy deployment does not harm grid reliability: “I say bring on more renewables.” (Reuters)

ALSO:
• A report prepared for the Natural Resources Defense Council cautions against focusing on outdated coal and nuclear plants’ “baseload” attributes. (Utility Dive)
• A pilot study led by BMW and Pacific Electric and Gas shows electric vehicles can be a valuable tool for supporting grid flexibility. (InsideClimate News)

COAL:
• The Navajo Nation Council approves a lease extension allowing a coal plant in northeastern Arizona to continue operating through December 2019. (Associated Press)
• A U.S. House committee approves the RECLAIM Act, which would speed up funding to help coal communities hurt by the industry downturn. (Charleston Mail-Gazette)

NUCLEAR:
• Federal nuclear regulators say an employee at the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant deliberately falsified safety records and failed to check workers for radiation exposure for eight months last year. (Rutland Herald)
• Industry representatives and analysts say the ongoing financial problems for nuclear plants are due to “market failure and the weakness of the merchant generator business model.” (Utility Dive)
• Federal regulators are investigating a cyber intrusion affecting multiple U.S. nuclear generators this year. (E&E News)

SOLAR: Six months after signing major energy legislation, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is backing a bill that would divert for general uses up to $160 million allocated to develop solar power in low-income neighborhoods. (Crain’s Chicago Business)

OIL AND GAS:
• Oklahoma regulators and researchers say new protocols to manage and prevent fracking-related earthquakes are showing positive results in the first six months. (The Oklahoman)
• An American Petroleum Institute study predicts two million new jobs will be created in the natural gas industry by 2040. (New York Business Journal)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Colorado’s high demand for electric vehicles was key for Chevrolet picking the state to sell its new Bolt EV ahead of other states. (Denver Post)
• EV charging company ChargePoint is acquiring nearly 10,000 charging stations from General Electric, “which has apparently exited the business.” (Silicon Valley Business Journal)

RESEARCH: A U.S. House appropriations bill calls for slashing funding for Department of Energy research programs and eliminating the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). (E&E News)

RENEWABLES: UPS announces that 25 percent of the electricity it consumes will come from renewable energy sources by 2025. (Reuters)

OFFSHORE DRILLING: Opponents of President Trump’s push to expand offshore drilling say a new study about the impact on marine life bolsters their case even further. (Southeast Energy News)

PIPELINES: Next week, Michigan officials plan to publicly release a highly anticipated draft report about Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline through the Straits of Mackinac, though advocates are uncertain whether it will lead to action. (Midwest Energy News)

COMMENTARY:
• A Los Angeles Times columnist calls climate change an “existential threat that is still hard to fully comprehend.”
• The motives behind Exxon Mobil’s support for a carbon tax are complicated and reflect both short- and long-term interests. (Vox)

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