U.S. Energy News

Critics say Senate tax bill boosts fossil fuels, hurts clean energy

POLICY: The newly approved Senate tax bill would open the Arctic to oil and gas development, weaken investment incentives for solar and wind production and end a $7,500 tax credit for electric vehicles. (Los Angeles Times, The Hill)

POLITICS: Two senators write a letter asking President Trump to explain why he’s removing protections for the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah when the U.S. Department of Agriculture did not recommend the change. (New York Times, Washington Post)

CLIMATE: The head of Google’s research and development lab talks about some of its most notable efforts to fight climate change and reduce emissions. (Greentech Media)

STORAGE: The governor of New York approves an energy storage target that could reduce regulatory barriers and spur adoption of storage in the state. (Greentech Media)

WIND:
• Operations and maintenance spending on North America’s aging wind energy sector will surpass $40 billion by 2025, according to a new report. (Greentech Media)
• A Massachusetts company abandons its plan to build 130 turbines off Cape Cod, which was originally proposed as the nation’s first offshore wind farm 16 years ago. (Associated Press)

GRID: A developer is finalizing plans to bury a transmission line along existing railroad tracks to move wind energy from north-central Iowa to the Chicago area. (Midwest Energy News)

UTILITIES:
• The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case over whether state-regulated utilities are subject to antitrust lawsuits, as part of a legal fight between an Arizona utility and SolarCity. (The Hill)
• Regulators reach a settlement with Mississippi Power Co. on how much customers should pay for the troubled multi-billion-dollar Kemper plant that was touted as “clean coal.” (Associated Press)

BIOFUELS: President Trump plans to meet with oil industry representatives to discuss potential changes to the federal Renewable Fuel Standard. (Reuters)

OIL & GAS:
• Researchers find antibiotic-resistant bacteria in private water wells near fracking sites in Texas, according to two recent studies. (Associated Press)
• Under new rules adopted by Southern California regulators, oil refineries will be required to install air quality monitors to provide the public with real-time information on their emissions. (Los Angeles Times)
• Researchers at MIT say the Energy Department’s official forecast may overstate future oil and gas production by exaggerating the impact of fracking technology. (Bloomberg)

PIPELINES:
• Kinder Morgan has allegedly paid state police more than $957,000 to guard a natural gas pipeline in Massachusetts. (Huffington Post)
• The U.S. Forest Service gives its approval for the controversial Mountain Valley Pipeline to cross land in Virginia and West Virginia. (Roanoke Times)
Hundreds of opponents of the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines protest in Richmond, Virginia, over the weekend. (WVTF)

COAL:
• The Trump administration won’t require mining companies to prove they have the funds to clean up their pollution, saying it “would impose an undue burden” on the industry. (Associated Press)
• It would be far cheaper and quicker for Dominion Energy to close its largest Virginia coal ash ponds by leaving them in place and covering them, rather than recycling the ash or moving it to lined landfills, according to a new report. (Associated Press)
• A pro-coal group that has appeared in multiple Ohio wind farm cases has not disclosed its members, raising questions about who funds the nonprofit organization and what relationship it might have to other parties. (Midwest Energy News)

COMMENTARY: Sequestering carbon in soil can reduce climate change while improving soil health, says a Los Angeles Times contributing opinion writer. (New York Times)

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