U.S. Energy News

Lawmakers urge FERC to oppose plan to subsidize coal, nuclear

POLICY: Several House lawmakers urge FERC to oppose Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s plan to subsidize coal and nuclear plants. (The Hill)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: With the backing of an environmental group, two children are suing President Trump to stop the repeal of the Clean Power Plan. (Reuters)

SOLAR:
• The Department of Energy is working on a report about the costs and benefits of net metering, which “could be consequential for the solar industry.” (E&E News)
• Local assessors in a Minnesota county say a major solar installation has not negatively impacted nearby property values. (Chisago County Press)
• Researchers from the University of California-Santa Cruz may have discovered a way to power greenhouses using solar panels made of pink glass. (Quartz)

WIND: The North Carolina General Assembly moves a step closer to a controversial suite of maps that could determine the future of wind energy in the state, though the process won’t be open to the public. (Southeast Energy News)

RENEWABLES:
• Ohio-based American Electric Power plans a $1.8 billion investment in renewable energy, which includes 1.37 gigawatts of solar. (pv magazine)
• Energy analysts differ on the implications of a recent report showing the cost of renewables relative to other energy sources. (Platts)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A tax reform bill by House Republicans would repeal a $7,500 federal tax credit for electric vehicles and could cripple sales in states without their own EV programs. (Wired)

TRANSPORTATION: Industry leaders gathered in Ohio last week are optimistic about the future of fuel cell buses and say the fuel cell industry could add 65,000 jobs for the Midwest by 2032. (Midwest Energy News)

GRID:
• New infrastructure spending is creating a more complex grid that’s better prepared for distributed resources, according to a new report. (Greentech Media)
• Clean energy and consumer advocates want Iowa regulators to carefully scrutinize a utility’s grid modernization plan, citing uncertainty over how $300 million a year would be spent. (Midwest Energy News)

OIL & GAS: Oil and gas employment is starting to rebound in Texas, with the number of workers up 16 percent compared to a year ago. (Houston Chronicle)

COAL:
• Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s plan to reshape the electricity market would be a major win for a coal company owned by Bob Murray, who donated $200,000 to the Trump campaign. (Politico)
• Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, may have undercut the U.S. coal industry by rushing the confirmation of FERC members. (Bloomberg)
• An analysis examines recent figures on coal production recently tweeted by President Trump. (PolitiFact)

POLLUTION:
• The EPA won’t declare which areas of the U.S. are failing to meet an Obama-era standard for ozone pollution. (The Hill)
• A mobile air-monitoring lab in Colorado is measuring volatile organic compounds near oil and gas development sites, as part of a state initiative to investigate complaints and health concerns surrounding the industry’s activities. (Longmont Times-Call)

NUCLEAR:
• Georgia Power knew for years about an internal 2011 report that warned contractor Westinghouse wasn’t prepared to finish two nuclear projects in Georgia and South Carolina. (Post and Courier)
• Georgia Power’s CEO tells state regulators that completing the Vogtle nuclear project is “the best economic choice” for customers. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

UTILITIES:
• It’s unclear whether coal retirements in Texas will bring the higher power prices that generators are hoping for. (Utility Dive)
• An electric utility in Maine has replaced over 1,400 utility poles broken in a recent wind storm. (Portland Press Herald)
• Moody’s Investors Service says in new reports that the unregulated power sector outlook is negative as companies struggle with weak demand and oversupplied markets. (Utility Dive)

COMMENTARY:
• Puerto Rico has an opportunity to build a stronger and smarter grid, but a long recession and utility mismanagement will make it a challenging task, says the director of the Energy Democracy Initiative. (Greentech Media)
• A former EPA administrator says Georgia’s Vogtle nuclear plant project is an important step for carbon-free energy in the U.S. (Huffington Post)

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