U.S. Energy News

Hawaii becomes first state to pass law committing to Paris climate goals

CLIMATE:
• Hawaii becomes the first state to pass a law committing to the goals in the Paris climate accord. (New York Times)
• Under the rules of the Paris climate agreement, the earliest any country can leave the deal is Nov. 4, 2020, meaning the U.S. can continue to participate in international talks. (New York Times)

RENEWABLES: Small clean energy business owners are confident that withdrawing from the Paris climate accord won’t hurt their bottom line, saying “it’s an economic decision people are making.” (Associated Press)

SOLAR:
• Utah-based Vivint Solar will expand operations into Colorado. (Denver Business Journal)
• A bill in North Carolina to establish competitive bids for solar projects and encourage new development has backing from both Duke Energy and clean energy advocates, and was approved by the House Wednesday. (Green Tech Lead, Charlotte Business Journal)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Kansas City is leading the U.S. in electric vehicle growth, boasting a 95 percent increase after a local utility rolled out the country’s largest car charging network in 2015. (Kansas City Business Journal)

EFFICIENCY: Software developed by a Virginia Tech team that cuts energy use by small and medium-sized commercial buildings is filling an important niche in building efficiency. (Southeast Energy News)

GRID:
• Advocates say regulators in many states aren’t moving fast enough on grid modernization. (Midwest Energy News)
• Duke Energy seeks a rider to pay for grid modernization in Ohio, and plans a 10 MW battery storage project. (Utility Dive/Energy Choice Matters)

POLITICS: President Trump nominates a BP oil spill lawyer and climate policy foe to serve as the Justice Department’s top environmental lawyer. (InsideClimate News)

TECHNOLOGY: A group of retired military officers warns that the U.S. has fallen behind China and the European Union in developing clean energy technology, posing a major risk to long-term security. (Huffington Post)

COAL:
• President Trump boasted the opening of a new coal mine in Pennsylvania, but his policies had little to do with it, according to industry analysts and the company that runs the mine. (Washington Post)
• The coal industry’s main problem isn’t climate change regulations — most of which haven’t even taken effect — but cheap and abundant natural gas. (Associated Press)
• Coal companies are looking to Congress to save carbon capture and storage research funding after the Trump administration proposed a 77 percent cut. (Climate Home)

OIL & GAS: Energy companies say President Trump should not overturn the federal law that shares oil and gas revenue from the Gulf of Mexico with coastal states. (Times-Picayune)

PIPELINES:
• The Rover Pipeline through Appalachia will produce as much annual greenhouse gas emissions as 42 coal-fired power plants, according to a new report. (ThinkProgress)
• Opponents of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project have filed a lawsuit against Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality over its water-quality permitting decision. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

EMISSIONS: The EPA says it will give states an additional year to comply with federal ground-level ozone standards. (ThinkProgress)

REGULATION: The Trump administration wants to limit the length of environmental reviews to two years in order to streamline the project approval process in his $1 trillion infrastructure package. (The Hill)

NUCLEAR: An oil and gas industry group releases a poll showing most respondents do not support plans to subsidize FirstEnergy’s Ohio nuclear plants. (Columbus Business First)

COMMENTARY:
• The mayors of Pittsburgh and Paris say fighting climate change will create a cleaner, healthier and more prosperous world for everyone. (New York Times)
• Another study confirms that the U.S. coal industry would be faltering even if environmental regulation and climate change didn’t exist, says an economics columnist for the Washington Post.

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