U.S. Energy News

In reversal, EPA says it will comply with ozone pollution deadline

POLICY: EPA administrator Scott Pruitt reverses course on plans to delay an Obama-era smog pollution regulation, saying the agency will comply with the rule’s original October 1 deadline. (Associated Press)

POLITICS: Sources say President Trump is considering making Energy Secretary Rick Perry the new secretary of homeland security. (Bloomberg)

OIL & GAS: A West Texas board approves an oilman’s plan to pump 5.4 million gallons of water a day from an aquifer to be used for fracking, despite opposition from landowners and environmentalists. (Houston Chronicle, Associated Press)

PIPELINES: A Houston startup is planning to build a $2 billion natural gas liquids pipeline across Texas. (Houston Chronicle)

COAL:
• Coal jobs and production in Kentucky are continuing to decline, despite President Trump’s campaign promises to revitalize the industry. (WFPL)
• The United Mine Workers of America disagrees with the federal safety agency’s approach to reducing the number of on-the-job deaths, which have already outnumbered last year’s total. (Associated Press)
• The Montana Coal Council says mining in the state is up this year thanks to a stronger export market. (Associated Press)
• Wyoming environmental regulators tell a coal mine developer to rework a permit for what would be the state’s first major new coal mine in decades, which is likely to delay the application by several months. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR:
• The chairman of the Georgia Public Service Commission says there are significant differences between the recently abandoned nuclear project in South Carolina and the ongoing one in Georgia. (Augusta Chronicle)
• Workers fired after the Summer nuclear project was abandoned gathered at the South Carolina statehouse while lawmakers pledged to overhaul the utility review process. (Associated Press)
• South Carolina legislators want to stop SCE&G from continuing to collect money to pay for the Summer nuclear plant construction. (Associated Press)
• South Carolina’s abandoned Summer nuclear plant could affect whether a Virginia utility moves forward with its own nuclear project. (Associated Press)

BIOFUELS: Some ethanol plants are turning to booze and other types of alcohol to diversify their production. (Reuters)

WIND:
• Wind energy proponents are gearing up to ensure that a North Carolina wind moratorium expires on schedule – and that debilitating restrictions don’t take its place. (Southeast Energy News)
• Officials say a planned $4.5 billion wind farm in Oklahoma will cost less than building traditional power plants. (Columbus Business First)

SOLAR:
• Maine lawmakers uphold a veto of a bill to maintain residential solar incentives, paving the way for regulators to gradually reduce net-metering rates. (Portland Press Herald)
• Tesla completes its first solar roof installations for company employees, but Elon Musk says it will still be a “challenging technical task” to get the roof “right” and ramp up production. (Greentech Media)
• Hawaii regulators approve a contract to build the state’s largest battery connected solar farm, which will consist of a 28-megawatt solar plant and a 20-megawatt, five-hour energy storage system. (Associated Press)
• A Missouri utility has begun to pay higher rebates for new west-facing solar arrays in order to encourage production during peak demand. (Midwest Energy News)

RENEWABLES: Massachusetts is accepting project proposals from water, wind and solar power companies to provide up to 1,200 megawatts of clean energy, which is slated to be the largest renewable energy contract in New England history. (NBC)

STORAGE: An Oregon-based company will install energy storage at seven Hawaii sites, including a beach resort and a Boy Scouts headquarters, to allow them to use solar energy during the evening. (Pacific Business News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• A EV charger startup is testing a distributed, peer-to-peer marketplace that lets California drivers pay each other for use of their home chargers. (Greentech Media)
• U.S. automakers are lobbying against Obama-era fuel efficiency standards, despite being “on their way to full compliance” and boosting their investments in electric vehicles. (Greentech Media)

COMMENTARY:
• The EPA needs to enforce Obama-era rules that protect water from coal plant toxins and “stop pandering to polluters with deep pockets,” says the director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign. (Huffington Post)
• A writer for Vox explains why EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s plan to debate the science behind climate change “is a terrible idea.”

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