U.S. Energy News

EPA report slashes estimated cost of CO2 emissions

CLEAN POWER PLAN: An EPA document that analyzes the costs and benefits of repealing the Clean Power Plan calculates the cost of CO2 emissions at between $1 and $6 per ton, down from a $45 per ton estimate made by the Obama administration. (Washington Post)

ALSO:
• A 38-page, four-year EPA plan fails to mention climate change or greenhouse gas emissions. (The Hill)
• For the power industry, the repeal of the Clean Power Plan may be more symbolic than significant. (Greentech Media)
• Ohio advocates say repealing the Clean Power Plan would not outweigh other factors that are making coal plants uneconomic there, and warn of the health impacts of delaying a transition away from coal. (Midwest Energy News)
• San Antonio’s city-owned utility says the EPA’s decision to scrap the Clean Power Plan does not affect its plans to decommission a coal-fired power plant next year. (San Antonio Business Journal)

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POLICY:
• An energy policy think tank that endorsed President Trump says a DOE proposal to prop up coal and nuclear plants is “excessive and unnecessarily distortive.” (The Hill)
• FERC denies requests from energy industry groups to slow down a 60-day review of a DOE proposal to prop up coal and nuclear plants. (Greentech Media)
• An unusual coalition of business and environmental groups oppose the DOE’s plan to boost nuclear and coal power plants and are pressuring the Trump administration to shift course. (Associated Press)

COAL:
• The charity of former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg gives $64 million to the Beyond Coal campaign, which aims to slash the number of U.S. coal-fired plants by two thirds by 2020. (Reuters)
• The Trump administration gives $30 million in grants to help states and regions deal with the downturn of the coal industry. (Phoenix Business Journal)
• The EPA’s repeal of the Clean Power Plan and the DOE’s proposed subsidies of coal power are earning praise from Appalachia’s lawmakers. (West Virginia Public Broadcasting)
• A coal operator says it will idle a western Kentucky mine later this year. (Associated Press)

FRACKING: Florida lawmakers are pushing to ban fracking in the state, though similar efforts failed last year. (WUSF)

PIPELINES:
• A federal judge rules that the Dakota Access pipeline can remain in operation while an environmental impact study is completed. (Associated Press)
• Gas utility subsidiaries artificially constrained gas pipeline capacity in New England, costing electricity customers $3.6 billion over the past three years, according to a new report. (Utility Dive)

POLLUTION: Environmental crews are cleaning up crude oil that spilled into a dry creek bed in Oklahoma. (Associated Press)

EFFICIENCY: Poultry farmers across the Midwest are turning to waste-heat recovery systems devised by a Missouri researcher that are meant to reduce heating bills. (Midwest Energy News)

SOLAR:
• Thin-film manufacturer First Solar urges trade commissioners to impose a remedy against cheap imported solar equipment, publicly siding with Suniva and SolarWorld in a controversial trade case. (Greentech Media)
• A 26,000-panel solar array that’s considered the largest in Maine becomes fully operational. (Portland Press Herald)
• A California startup is making solar trackers for commercial and industrial rooftops, which can boost energy output by 30 to 40 percent. (Greentech Media)

WIND: Oklahoma lawmakers are considering whether extra regulations are needed for wind turbines near military bases. (Oklahoman)

GRID: The Department of Energy is using blockchain technology to defend distributed resources on the grid from cybersecurity threats. (Greentech Media)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Three key developments could make 2017 a tipping point for the adoption of electric vehicles. (Washington Post)

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NUCLEAR:
• South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster wants to sell state utility Santee Cooper, but no one is sure what it’s worth and lawmakers say it won’t go at a “fire sale price.” (Post and Courier, Associated Press)
• Georgia’s controversial Vogtle nuclear project reaches construction milestones following long delays and significant cost overruns. (Daily Energy Insider)

COMMENTARY:
• The Trump administration’s decision to kill the Clean Power Plan is “infuriating on several levels” and shows that Trump is hellbent on reversing the work of the Obama administration, says The New York Times editorial board.
• Coal is under attack by human progress and modern economics – not environmental regulations, says a writer for the Lexington Herald-Leader.

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