U.S. Energy News

Coalition of states, cities and businesses taking next step on Paris goals

CLIMATE: A coalition that includes 227 cities and counties, nine states and about 1,650 businesses and investors is expected to announce next steps today in upholding the Paris climate accord. (New York Times)

ALSO:
• Democratic leaders’ latest proposal to extend California’s cap-and-trade system is causing angst on both sides of the political aisle. (Los Angeles Times)
• A debate over the merits of established climate science is in its “formative stages” at the EPA, and the agency will consider airing the event on television, according to EPA chief Scott Pruitt. (Reuters)
• “Maps will need to be redrawn” as one of the largest icebergs in recorded history breaks away from Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf. (New York Times) 

SOLAR: Duke Energy Kentucky receives approval from state officials to build three new solar facilities. (Associated Press)

WIND: The CEO of Xcel Energy discusses the increasing role of renewables in its generation mix and why wind will be its largest energy source by 2021. (Utility Dive)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Experts say Faraday Future’s decision to scrap plans for a $1 billion manufacturing plant in Nevada could be a sign of future trouble for the electric vehicle industry. (Associated Press)

POLITICS: The results of a public comment period show that citizens are overwhelmingly opposed to a Trump administration plan to shrink national monuments — an effort that has been characterized as an attempt to open more federal land to oil and gas interests. (ThinkProgress)

TRANSPORTATION: The Trump administration is delaying the enforcement of an Obama-era rule that subjects automakers to stricter penalties for violating fuel efficiency standards. (The Hill)

EMISSIONS: U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt says the agency will treat automakers attempting to cheat diesel emissions rules “very aggressively.” (Reuters)

OIL & GAS:
• Industry analysts say the U.S. is poised to become one of the world’s top oil exporters by 2020 thanks to increased shale production. (CNN)
• A Louisiana flood protection board asks the U.S. Supreme Court to revive its lawsuit to make oil and gas companies pay for damage to coastal wetlands. (Associated Press)
• The U.S. Air Force would like to see an existing moratorium on offshore drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico extended another five years. (Tampa Bay Times)

COAL:
• The recent wave of coal bankruptcies has produced a “somewhat ironic” effect: Those that went through the process are now the strongest in the sector, and those that avoided it now face tougher competition. (SNL)
• North Carolina officials approve the storage of coal ash imported from India, as Duke Energy continues the cleanup of millions of tons of its own ash in the state. (Tribune News Service)
• A former West Virginia University researcher says studies about the effects of mountaintop removal on public health provide adequate evidence to end the practice. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

NUCLEAR:
• The battle over a proposed nuclear waste site in Nevada is heating up again, thanks to a push from President Trump and Energy Secretary Rick Perry. (The Hill)
• The decommissioning process at a Wisconsin nuclear plant that closed in 2013 “sets a new benchmark for the complete transfer of all used fuel to dry storage after plant shut-down.” (World Nuclear News)

GRID:
• Energy Secretary Rick Perry tells reporters that the threat of cyberattacks on the electric grid is “real” and “ongoing.” (Associated Press)
• Evidence mounts that Russia is behind recent attempts to hack U.S. power plants. (Greentech Media)
• A power plant explosion that left 140,000 people with power in Los Angeles over the weekend illustrates the challenges the city faces in modernizing its aging electrical system. (Los Angeles Times)
• As smart-meter usage expands, so do questions about the ways utilities and other companies can harness energy data to advance grid technology while preserving consumer privacy. (Midwest Energy News)

COMMENTARY:
• Sierra Club advocates say they will work to ensure the “dirty, expensive, unnecessary Kemper boondoggle” in Mississippi is not repeated elsewhere. (Huffington Post)
• Tesla and other electric car-makers should be fine without government financial incentives, says a writer at Quartz.
• The most effective way to transition to a smarter grid is to encourage early investment in grid-related infrastructure and technology, says the the founder of the Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure. (The Hill)

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