U.S. Energy News

Report: U.S. solar capacity grows more than any other source

SOLAR: Solar energy capacity grew more than any other energy source in 2016, and the market could triple in size over the next five years, according to a recent analysis. (Greentech Media)

ALSO:
• New York state regulators approve a new compensation structure for distributed energy resources, saying about 70 large solar energy systems will “benefit immediately” from the order. (Utility Dive)
• The residential solar company Sungevity lays off 66 percent of its remaining workforce, following dozens of layoffs in January. (Greentech Media)

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RENEWABLE ENERGY: Georgetown, Texas, becomes one of the first U.S. cities to be powered by 100 percent renewable energy. (NPR)

CLIMATE:
• During a televised interview EPA administrator Scott Pruitt said he disagrees that human activity is “a primary contributor to the global warming that we see,” a statement contrary to the overwhelming consensus of scientists. (New York Times)
• The Trump administration is filing legal motions to thwart a climate change lawsuit brought against the federal government by 21 children. (Washington Post)

EFFICIENCY: A new resource center in Kansas City will help owners of large commercial and residential buildings launch energy efficiency projects. (Midwest Energy News)

EPA: A senior environmental justice leader at the EPA resigns after two decades, saying the Trump administration’s proposed budget cuts would harm vulnerable communities and he “couldn’t sign off on those types of things.” (Washington Post)

REGULATION:
• Sources say the Trump administration plans to nominate energy lawyer Kevin McIntyre to chair the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. (Bloomberg)
• EPA administrator Scott Pruitt says he doesn’t know whether his agency has the legal right to regulate carbon dioxide emissions. (The Hill)

CLEAN POWER PLAN:
• White House officials say an executive order to roll back the Clean Power Plan “may be pushed to next week.” (The Hill)
• A source says the Trump administration plans to dismantle the Clean Power Plan without providing a replacement, starting with an order next week that will instruct the Justice Department to withdraw its legal defense of the rule. (E&E News)

OIL & GAS:
• The CEO of Shell tells conference-goers in Houston that the company plans to increase its investment in renewable energy to $1 billion a year by the end of the decade. (Reuters)
• A Madrid-based energy company says is has discovered the largest onshore oil reserve in the U.S. in 30 years in Alaska’s North Slope. (Associated Press)
• A massive oil discovery in Alaska intensifies a debate over whether to overhaul the state’s oil tax and credit structure. (Associated Press)

PIPELINES:
• Opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline are appealing a decision by South Dakota regulators to authorize the portion of the project that would run through the state. (Associated Press)
• Advocacy groups in Virginia ask federal regulators to amend an environmental assessment of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which would serve public utilities in Virginia and North Carolina, saying the pipeline company has filed important information since the original assessment. (Associated Press)
• Secretary of state and former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson recuses himself from working on issues related to the Keystone XL oil pipeline. (The Hill)

COMMENTARY: EPA administrator Scott Pruitt is a climate denier – not a skeptic – who refuses to accept the consensus of scientists, says the Washington Post editorial board.

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