U.S. Energy News

Federal courts may provide firewall against environmental rollbacks

POLICY: Green groups eye federal courts to try to block expected pullbacks of environmental initiatives by President-elect Trump. (The Hill)

COAL:
• The CEO of Michigan’s largest electric utility says the company is committed to phasing out its coal-fired plants “regardless of what Trump may or may not do with the Clean Power Plan.” (MLive)
• State-level actions will decide the fate of clean energy in the Rust Belt, which relies heavily on coal to meet its electricity needs. (ClimateWire)
• Over 20 senators write a letter asking Congress to pass a bill that protects the pensions and healthcare benefits of retired coal miners. (The Hill)

OIL & GAS:
• Environmentalists worry about potential offshore drilling in the Atlantic under a Trump presidency. (Associated Press)
• With Trump expected to green light natural gas projects and pipelines, environmentalists are preparing to fight back. (ClimateWire)

PIPELINES:
• A woman protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline may lose an arm after reportedly being struck by a police concussion grenade, but officers say they are not responsible for the injury. (TIME)
• The Army Corps of Engineers tells pipeline protesters to vacate their camp in North Dakota by Dec. 5, but organizers say they are committed to staying. (Reuters)
• Two Republican politicians and the governor of North Dakota send a letter asking President Obama to approve a final easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline and send help to law enforcement there. (The Hill)
• Dakota Access Pipeline opponents say Trump’s investments in the company building the project could lead to a conflict of interest when he takes office. (Associated Press)

POLLUTION:
• Charlotte-based Duke Energy will pay $1 million to protect bodies of water in North Carolina to resolve a federal lawsuit alleging the company contaminated a lake with coal ash. (Charlotte Observer)
• Duke Energy will pay a $1 million fine for spilling 9,000 gallons of diesel fuel into the Ohio River in 2014. (Charlotte Business Journal)

SOLAR:
• A solar power showroom in California could be the start of a larger trend. (Los Angeles Times)
• A pilot program in Los Angeles gives low-income residents $360 a year to install city-owned solar panels on their properties. (Los Angeles Times)
• The Department of Energy updates its guidelines for property-assessed clean energy (PACE) financing for homes. (Solar Industry)
• SolarCity teams up with Tesla to power an entire island in American Samoa with solar energy. (International Business Times)
• An Iowa co-op plans a new net-metering policy and demand charge in part to rebuff efforts to expand solar power in the area. (Midwest Energy News)

RENEWABLE ENERGY: St. Petersburg becomes the first city in Florida to commit to a goal of 100 percent renewable energy. (Solar Industry)

CLIMATE:
• Mayors from 35 U.S. cities send an open letter asking President-elect Donald Trump to “shift to embrace the Paris Climate Agreement.” (Good Magazine)
• Trump softens his rhetoric on climate change, telling the New York Times he has “an open mind” on the issue. (Climate Home)
• Cities have the power to fight climate change, with or without support from the federal government. (CityLab)
• Trump will have several options for undoing climate-friendly policies put in place by the Obama administration. (New York Times)

NUCLEAR: A nuclear plant nearing retirement in Massachusetts illustrates the country’s nuclear waste crisis. (The New Yorker)

BIOFUEL: The EPA sets new 2017 mandates to increase targets for biofuels, but the program faces an uncertain future under a Trump administration. (Washington Post)

GRID: The nation’s largest grid operator is leveraging federal rule changes to lead the country in new utility battery storage. (Southeast Energy News)

POLICY:
• Donald Trump’s promise to create “many millions” of jobs by changing U.S. energy policy will be difficult to keep. (Bloomberg)
• Experts say the chances of passing a bipartisan energy bill before Trump takes office are slim. (Utility Dive)
• Power companies reach compromises on an Illinois energy bill, leaving clean energy advocates hopeful for a “historic” victory in the state. (Midwest Energy News)

COMMENTARY:
• Donald Trump must continue raising fuel economy standards if he wants to achieve energy independence. (Reuters)
• Texas is a shining example of how green energy can thrive under a Republican government. (The Hill)

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