U.S. Energy News

Department of Energy seeks new regulations to support coal and nuclear

REGULATION:
• Energy Secretary Rick Perry asks federal regulators to adopt new regulations to support coal and nuclear plants, sparking condemnation from environmentalists who say he’s “doing the bidding of the fossil fuel industry.” (Reuters, Common Dreams)
• Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer tells a natural gas conference that the Trump administration’s regulatory rollbacks have helped grow the economy. (Allegheny Front)

NUCLEAR:
• Energy Secretary Rick Perry says the Energy Department will provide $3.7 billion in loan guarantees for the completion of two nuclear reactors in Georgia. (Washington Post)
• The Nuclear Regulatory Commission renews the license for a nuclear power plant in South Texas for an additional 20 years, which will keep its reactors operating through 2047 and 2048. (San Antonio Business Journal)
• South Carolina regulators have deferred action on a petition to suspend about $37 million a month in rates customers are being charged for the now-abandoned Summer nuclear plant. (Charlotte Business Journal)

COAL ASH: Toxic coal ash is likely contaminating soil and water in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. (Grist)

POLLUTION: Researchers receive a $4.8 million grant to keep studying the effects of the 2010 BP oil spill on southeastern Louisiana marsh ecosystems for another two years. (Associated Press)

PIPELINES:
• Developers of the controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline are considering expanding the project into South Carolina, according to an audio recording that was leaked to the Associated Press.
• Environmental activists who are set to stand trial over oil pipeline protests in four states plan to use the defense that their actions were in the public’s interest. (Associated Press)
• A North Dakota tribe no longer wants fiberglass-based pipelines on its reservation after recent spills. (Associated Press)

SOLAR:
• An Ohio-based startup says it can cut heliostat costs by a third by tying the mirrors that reflect sunlight onto a single motor and support structure. (Greentech Media)
• New Mexico regulators approve a Navajo community’s proposal to connect homes without electricity to the internet using solar power. (Albuquerque Business First)
• A town in Maine moves one step closer to building a 5-megawatt solar array on a closed landfill, which could generate enough electricity to power 750 homes. (Portland Press Herald)

WIND: Iowa-based MidAmerican Energy is in the process of “repowering” 1,000 megawatts of wind generation in an effort to make its turbines more efficient and productive. (Midwest Energy News)

RENEWABLES:
• Former coal industry workers are being retrained for wind and solar jobs in Wyoming and West Virginia. (New York Times)
• Tesla and other renewable energy companies are donating equipment and installation services to help restore power in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria. (Greentech Media)

BIOMASS: Researchers from the University of Georgia say the government must provide incentives similar to the ones that solar and wind receive if the U.S. wants to begin replacing coal with wood pellets at power plants. (Biomass Magazine)

UTILITIES: A new report says Duke Energy would save money and create jobs if it stopped using coal and relied more on renewable energy, though the utility says the study is unrealistic. (Daily Advance)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Electric vehicles make up 60 percent of the fastest-selling used car models in the U.S., according to reports from an automotive research company. (Quartz)
• Mazda and Toyota are joining with Denso Corporation to form a new electric vehicle company that will produce everything from small cars to SUVs. (The Verge)

COMMENTARY: It’s unclear how a new California law that threatens to withhold rebates for electric vehicles made by companies who treat their workers unfairly may impact Tesla, says a writer for the Los Angeles Times.

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