U.S. Energy News

Judge orders Trump administration to reinstate methane rule

REGULATION: A federal judge orders the Interior Department to immediately reinstate an Obama-era regulation that limits methane emissions from oil and gas production on federal lands, saying the department failed to give a reasoned explanation for trying to delay the rule. (E&E News, Washington Post)

ALSO:
• An internal EPA document lays the groundwork for repealing the Clean Power Plan and replacing it with new regulations. (New York Times)
• An overview of 48 environmental rules that the Trump administration has sought to reverse. (New York Times)

POLICY: Lawmakers have a lukewarm reaction to Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s plan to boost coal and nuclear power. (Houston Chronicle, Utility Dive)

RENEWABLES:
• The International Energy Agency expects global renewable electricity capacity to rise 43 percent by 2022, with the U.S. being the second-largest renewables growth market due to tax incentives and state-level policies. (Reuters)
• The Trump administration’s tax reform plan could make renewables more expensive by reducing corporate taxes that go towards clean-power financing. (Bloomberg)

SOLAR:
• At a ceremonial signing event, Utah leaders and solar advocates praise a net-metering compromise that preserves current rates for thousands of rooftop solar customers. (Deseret News)
• Meanwhile, the trade dispute over solar imports has stalled clean-energy projects across the United States, as utilities and businesses hold off on buying solar power. (Bloomberg)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Governors from seven western states – Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming – pledge to expand an EV charging network in the region. (Denver Post)

CLIMATE: Big energy projects are confronting barriers as judges clash with a White House order for federal agencies not to calculate the climate impacts of their emissions. (Los Angeles Times)

COAL:
• Washington State’s Public Council argues that $10 million is excessive for helping Colstrip, Montana, adapt to the eventual closure of the West’s second-largest coal-fired power plant. (Billings Gazette)
• At a private meeting with mining executives, Energy Secretary Rick Perry says “coal is fighting back.” (E&E News)

PIPELINES: Opponents of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline say leaked remarks by a Dominion Energy executive underscore that there’s not enough demand for new gas-fired power plants in Virginia or North Carolina to justify the project. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

POLLUTION: The federal government approves a $24 million plan to clean a lake in New Jersey that is contaminated with polluted soil from an oil refinery. (Associated Press)

UTILITIES: Twenty-eight utilities have committed to the RESTORE program, which is designed to strengthen the power grid through their collaborative efforts. (Utility Dive)

GRID: At the launch session of NextGrid in Chicago, a variety of stakeholders began drawing a blueprint for the future of Illinois’ power grid, which will rely on a “platform” of services for customers. (Midwest Energy News)

EFFICIENCY: Nearly one year since its inception, an on-bill financing program in a west Michigan city appears to be enabling the deep energy retrofits envisioned at the outset. (Midwest Energy News)

COMMENTARY:
• Nearly 20 out-of-state power plants are polluting the air in Maryland, and the EPA is violating the Clean Air Act’s “good neighbor” provision by allowing it to happen, says the Maryland Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. (Baltimore Sun)
• Carbon capture is a tough sell in today’s environment, especially following Mississippi’s Kemper plant failure, but many still believe there is a viable market for it, says a contributor to Forbes.
• Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s plan to help coal and nuclear plants is ridiculous “hackery,” says a writer for Vox.

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