U.S. Energy News

Court tells the EPA to enforce Obama-era methane rule

REGULATION: A federal appeals court tells the EPA it must enforce an Obama-era methane pollution rule for oil and natural gas drillers. (The Hill)

NUCLEAR:
• Santee Cooper and SCANA Corp. are stopping construction at the long-delayed and over-budget Summer nuclear plant in South Carolina, with SCANA planning to brief regulators today on its plans. (Reuters, Associated Press)
• Santee Cooper’s CEO said the halting of the Summer nuclear reactors “pushes us back to more carbon, whether it’s natural gas or coal.” (Associated Press)
• The projects in South Carolina and Georgia have demonstrated that the main obstacle to new nuclear power is an economic one. (Washington Post)
• Abandoning construction of the Summer nuclear reactors in South Carolina is a major blow to the future of nuclear power in the United States. (New York Times)

SOLAR:
• How the San Antonio area added more than 250 megawatts of residential and commercial solar in 2016. (Yale Climate Connections)
• The country’s largest non-federal solar project on a closed landfill will be built in Annapolis, Maryland, and produce 16.8 megawatts of electricity. (Baltimore Business Journal)

WIND:
• A wind power developer is proposing to use Tesla batteries to store energy from a wind farm off the Massachusetts coast. (Bloomberg)
• European oil companies are using their knowledge of deepwater development to enter the U.S. offshore wind market. (Reuters)
• How lack of a consistent federal policy is preventing states from developing stronger industries around wind energy. (American Prospect)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Tesla announces that its Model 3 car will have a $9,000 upgrade available that extends its range to 310 miles. (ThinkProgress)
• A new type of battery developed by Panasonic and Tesla for the Model 3 has enabled the car to have low cost and long range. (Greentech Media)

EFFICIENCY: Utilities and clean energy advocates in Illinois see smart thermostats as a key energy-management tool in the future. (Midwest Energy News)

OIL & GAS: A company is planning to build the first new Texas oil refinery in decades on 15 acres in West Texas. (Houston Chronicle)

PIPELINES:
• An analysis of the Mountain Valley Pipeline underestimates the project’s impacts on parts of Virginia’s forests by more than 300 percent, according to state agencies. (Roanoke Times)
• Plans to build the Atlantic Coast Pipeline through parts of Virginia’s farmland and forests continue to raise environmental concerns. (WVTF)

COAL:
• The Trump administration is praising a Pennsylvania company’s $79 million deal to export coal to Ukraine. (Associated Press)
• A history exhibit at the EPA is expected scrap Obama-era climate displays and may install a presentation on coal instead. (Washington Post)

ADVOCACY: At public hearing, environmental advocates voiced their opposition to an EPA decision to delay the implementation of a 2015 rule setting tighter guidelines for wastewater piped into rivers and lakes from coal-fired power plants. (ThinkProgress)

CLIMATE: Our chances of keeping warming under dangerous levels by the end of this century are increasingly slim, according to two new studies by researchers in the U.S. and Germany.

COMMENTARY:
• Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge should be protected from oil drilling and mining, says the Seattle Times editorial board.
• FERC needs to consider whether projects like Appalachia’s Mountain Valley Pipeline are really necessary for the country, says the Los Angeles Times editorial board.

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