U.S. Energy News

Report: Trump DOE budget would cut renewables office 70%

POLITICS:
• A new Trump administration draft budget seeks to cut funding for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy by 70 percent, along with significant cuts to offices focused on nuclear power and fossil fuel research. (Axios)
• The EPA’s newest appointee is a former energy lobbyist for a group that opposed the Clean Power Plan, which could violate President Trump’s executive order barring political appointees who worked as a registered lobbyists within the last two years. (ThinkProgress)

WIND: Iowa’s Republican senator tells Energy Secretary Rick Perry that a study he commissioned on the U.S. electric grid is pre-determined and “geared to undermine” the wind energy industry. (Reuters)

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SOLAR: Suniva’s Chinese parent company disagrees with Suniva’s call for solar import tariffs. (Renewables Now)

CLEAN ENERGY:
• A new report shows the Southeast lagging the rest of the country on clean energy, but finds many states are among national leaders in specific categories; Minnesota leads the Midwest in the same report. (Southeast Energy News, Midwest Energy News)
• The Trump administration’s policies could be pushing renewable energy investors away from the U.S., according to a new report. (FuelFix)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Electric vehicle advocates say car dealers have been slow to promote the advantages of EVs, but some are figuring it out in California. (Los Angeles Times)

OIL & GAS: West Virginia senators are asking federal officials to consider building a natural gas storage and distribution hub in Appalachia. (Associated Press)

PIPELINES: Over 100 groups are asking federal regulators to halt all construction on a gas pipeline in Ohio after a series of environmental violations and spills. (InsideClimate News)

COAL: Hundreds of union members protest at the headquarters of Consol Energy in western Pennsylvania, saying the coal mining company is attempting to reduce health benefits for retirees. (Tribune-Review)

POLLUTION: Connecticut’s attorney general is suing the EPA for failing to address a complaint that a Pennsylvania coal- and gas-fired plant is polluting the state’s air with nitrogen oxide, which reacts with other pollutants to form ozone. (PennLive)

EMISSIONS: New York’s governor unveils a 25-step methane reduction plan. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR:
• The struggling nuclear industry is lobbying state legislatures for subsidies, but the bailouts face opposition from the natural gas industry and anti-nuclear activists. (NPR)
• The CEO of FirstEnergy Corp. wants Pennsylvania and Ohio legislators to help the company’s struggling nuclear plants, saying they have a critical role in providing non-carbon power generation and directly employ 2,300 people. (Pittsburgh Business Times)

GRID:
• How AEP Indiana Michigan Power is using an award-winning demand response program to contract directly with commercial and industrial customers to provide 55 MW of load curtailment capabilities. (Utility Dive)
• House Democrats introduce a bill calling for at least $85 billion in infrastructure upgrades, including $17 billion on the electric grid, renewable energy and energy efficiency programs. (The Hill)

UTILITIES: Critics say proposed rate changes for American Electric Power’s Ohio utility customers could unduly burden the grid by discouraging energy efficiency and distributed generation. (Midwest Energy News)

COMMENTARY:
• The U.S. and its allies have already developed the technology needed to end the fossil fuel age, but there’s not much time left to make the switch, says a former adviser to the Secretary of Energy. (Greentech Media)
• President Trump’s latest draft budget for the energy department proves that he has no intention of fulfilling his promises to the coal industry, according to a writer at Quartz.

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