U.S. Energy News

EPA chief to announce formal plan to repeal Clean Power Plan today

CLEAN POWER PLAN: EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt tells coal miners in Kentucky that he will repeal the Clean Power Plan today, ending an Obama-era rule designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector. (Washington Post)

ALSO:
Massachusetts is pledging to sue the Trump administration for scrapping the Clean Power Plan. (Associated Press)
• Repealing the Clean Power Plan could thwart Maryland’s efforts to decrease air pollution emitted from out-of-state plants. (Baltimore Sun)
• The repeal is also unlikely to help the coal industry in Montana and New Mexico. (Billings Gazette, New Mexican)
• Rolling back the Clean Power Plan won’t happen overnight, as the administration will need to gather public input and then likely face court challenges. (USA Today)
• A Michigan utility says the prospect of repealing the Clean Power Plan does not change its plans to reduce carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050. (ABC13 Toledo)

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COAL:
• EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt says scrapping the Clean Power Plan will end the “war on coal,” but environmental regulations were only responsible for 3.5 percent of a 33 percent decline in coal production from 2011 to 2016 . (Greentech Media)
• New groundwater testing shows unsafe levels of a cancer-causing metal at an abandoned Tennessee landfill that received waste from several industries, including coal. (Associated Press)
• In a new report, the Union of Concerned Scientists finds 2.6 gigawatts of uneconomic coal plants in the Midwest, even after eight years of a relatively high number of plant closures. (Midwest Energy News)

PIPELINES:
• North Carolina’s DEQ rejected environmental plans for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which is the first decision on the controversial project from any of the three states it would traverse. (News & Observer)
• As Michigan researchers set out to formally analyze the risk of of an oil pipeline beneath the Straits of Mackinac, some advocates say the findings could provide enough evidence for the state to take action to shut it down. (Midwest Energy News)

CARBON CAPTURE: Carbon capture technology can remove about 90 percent of CO2 emitted from coal-fired power plants, but high costs are hindering adoption. (Associated Press)

RENEWABLES: EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt tells a crowd that federal tax credits for wind and solar should be eliminated, saying the technologies should “stand on their own and compete against coal and natural gas.” (The Hill)

WIND: A study by California researchers finds that “the wind power available in the North Atlantic could be sufficient to power the world.” (Washington Post)

SOLAR:
• DTE Energy unveils the largest utility-scale solar project in Michigan, a 48-megawatt project spread across 250 acres. (MLive)
• Montana utility regulators approve a 15-year contract for a proposed $110 million solar farm west of Billings. (Associated Press)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Amazon receives a patent for drones that can charge electric vehicles, which may help drivers get power when they can’t make it to a charging station. (Greentech Media)

UTILITIES: Energy analysts say utilities need to start planning for the impacts of electric vehicles on the grid sooner rather than later. (Utility Dive)

NUCLEAR:
• SCANA Corp. is facing another lawsuit from shareholders who say the state-owned utility was not forthcoming about problems with its Summer nuclear project in South Carolina. (Post and Courier)
• Former Santee Cooper executives say there’s still a possibility the Summer plant could be completed. (SNL Energy)

COMMENTARY:
• The transition to a renewable energy economy will continue in spite of the Trump administration, says the executive director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute. (Huffington Post)
• The executive director of a policy advocacy group explains why rolling back the Clean Power Plan will be bad for the U.S. economy. (Huffington Post)
• The Trump administration’s plan to support coal plants with taxpayer subsidies is simply an excuse to prop up the failing coal industry, says a contributor to the Guardian.
• A writer for Vox says the effort to repeal the Clean Power Plan will be a “fiasco” on par with failed efforts against the Affordable Care Act.

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