U.S. Energy News

California scraps $3 billion spending bill to boost EV sales

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A California bill is amended to scrap plans to spend $3 billion to boost rebates for electric vehicles, and will instead direct the state’s Air Resources Board to conduct studies on EV rebate legislation. (Los Angeles Times)

ALSO:
Solar-powered cars are inching closer to reality, with Audi and Tesla already working on the technology. (Motley Fool)
• National labor regulators order Tesla to respond to several complaints filed by employees about poor working conditions and efforts to hinder unionization. (Los Angeles Times)
• West Virginia State Parks is working to become the first parks system to have electric vehicle charging stations installed at all of its guest lodges. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

SOLAR:
• Solar module efficiency is increasingly important for the survival of solar manufacturers. (Motley Fool)
• A new solar farm built by the Tennessee Valley Authority starts generating electricity in Memphis. (Memphis Business Journal)

OIL & GAS:
• The Bureau of Land Management will allow oil and gas drilling near Dinosaur National Monument in Utah, citing President Trump’s goal of increasing domestic energy production. (Associated Press)
• Oil companies are working to repair seven flood-damaged refineries in Texas, while nine other major refineries remain completely offline. (Houston Chronicle)

FRACKING: Illinois regulators approve the first fracking permit under new state regulations, despite numerous concerns raised by advocates. (Springfield State Journal-Register, Midwest Energy News archive)

COAL:
• A panel wants to know why dozens of studies showing that mountaintop removal mining appears to be making coalfield residents sick have been stopped by the Trump administration while other studies continue to receive Interior Department funding. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• President Trump plans to nominate a former coal industry executive, whose company had a history of safety violations, as the nation’s top mine safety official. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• Coal production in Montana is up by more than 2 million tons this year, but it’s still trailing 2015 production levels by about 6 million tons. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR:
• A 2016 report from a project management company warned utilities about serious problems at the now-abandoned Summer nuclear project. (Associated Press)
• SCANA has given campaign contributions to all but one of the 32 South Carolina lawmakers investigating the demise of the Summer nuclear project. (Post and Courier)
• Georgia Power says the recommendation to complete the Vogtle nuclear project would take longer and be even more expensive, estimating the final price tag at more than $22 billion for the two reactors. (WABE)

MICROGRIDS: Natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey highlight the value of off-grid energy systems. (Greentech Media)

GRID: New Hampshire energy regulators delay a controversial decision over a transmission line that would bring Canadian hydropower to New England until next March. (Boston Business Journal)

TECHNOLOGY: Four teams of researchers in Illinois will receive millions in federal funding to advance projects in power electronics and converting forms of electricity. (Midwest Energy News)

COMMENTARY:
• Nuclear power plants ran smoothly throughout Hurricane Harvey because they’re designed to withstand extreme weather events, illustrating why the U.S. should retain its nuclear fleet, says a contributor for Forbes.
• The Energy Department’s grid study may influence the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on issues related to electricity market prices, resiliency modeling and infrastructure issues, says a former FERC commissioner. (Utility Dive)
• As the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline project advances, there are still unanswered questions, including how the pipeline deal is structured, what ratepayers will be charged for and who pays if something goes wrong, says a contributor to the Washington Post.
• A solar industry veteran gives his advice for how companies and individuals can help the country transition to 100 percent renewable energy, with solar as a core component. (Greentech Media)
• The problem with utilities isn’t greed — it’s how they’re regulated and incentivized, says a writer at Vox.

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