U.S. Energy News

Report: U.S. to become net energy exporter by 2026

OIL & GAS: The U.S. is projected to become a net exporter of energy by 2026 due to rising natural gas exports and falling petroleum imports, while greenhouse emissions are not expected to change radically, according to a new report. (Reuters/Climate Central)

ALSO:
• The Koch brothers are quietly courting minorities as they plan for a fossil fuel resurgence under Donald Trump. (New York Times)
• A fire burns for about four hours on an oil production platform in the Gulf of Mexico before being extinguished. (Associated Press)

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PIPELINES:
• Following his nomination for energy secretary, former Texas governor Rick Perry resigns from the board of Energy Transfer Partners – the company building the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline. (Texas Tribune)
• The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will continue to include oil pipelines in its streamlined permitting program, dealing a blow to environmentalists and opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline. (Platts)

COAL: The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission rejects a plan to expand the state’s only coal-fired electricity plant, saying the proposal was “not reasonable or in the public interest.” (Pacific Business News)

POLICY:
• Donald Trump’s energy policy is being shaped by an obscure industry funded group that opposes government aid for renewable energy. (Bloomberg)
• Democratic leaders in Maryland are calling for the General Assembly to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of a bill that would have increased the state’s renewable portfolio standard. (RTO Insider)
• Maryland’s governor announces his environmental agenda for 2017, which includes a number of renewable energy projects but lacks explicit requirements for “expensive” wind and solar. (PV-Tech)

POLITICS: Environmental battles over eminent domain, fossil fuel divestment and pipelines are likely to erupt early in Donald Trump’s presidency. (The Guardian)

CLIMATE:
• Donald Trump’s nominee for chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission has pushed clients like Exxon Mobil to disclose the impacts of climate change. (MarketWatch)
• A federal investigation into what Exxon Mobil knew about climate change is likely to stall under Donald Trump’s presidency. (InsideClimate News)

RENEWABLES:
• Industry insiders give their renewable energy predictions for 2017. (Utility Dive)
• A private college and a U.S. defense agency have collectively embarked on the second and third microgrids in Virginia. (Southeast Energy News)

SOLAR:
• A new law to overhaul Michigan’s energy sector is creating uncertainty for the state’s solar industry. (Utility Dive)
• The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is proposing to eliminate a special energy zone in Colorado’s San Luis Valley where solar development could be fast-tracked due to cultural and natural resources in the area. (Pueblo Chieftain)

NUCLEAR:
• A group of Massachusetts politicians sends a letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission over safety concerns sparked by a leaked memo about “overwhelmed” staff at a nuclear power plant on Cape Cod Bay. (Boston Business Journal)
• A nuclear power plant in Washington state sets a record for annual generation, sending 9.6 million megawatt-hours of electricity to the grid in 2016. (Associated Press)
• Federal regulators are expected to announce next week plants in the U.S. that contain components made by a troubled French company, which advocates say could pose a safety risk. (Reuters)

UTILITIES: A consultant tells Maine’s Public Utilities Commission that building a natural gas storage facility won’t benefit electric and gas customers in the state. (Portland Press Herald)

GRID:
• The Energy Department releases a report calling for action to protect the U.S. electricity grid from new threats, saying the “rapidly evolving system” is in major need of modernization and upgrades to keep pace. (Washington Post)
• The evolution of a 76-year-old power plant in Illinois serves as a microcosm for broader shifts underway in the U.S. power grid. (Midwest Energy News)

COMMENTARY:
• Record-breaking electric vehicle sales show that consumers are starting to prefer clean and convenient electric cars. (Huffington Post)
• The energy research and development community must support fact-based science and affirm the importance of clean energy research and innovation during Donald Trump’s presidency. (Greentech Media)

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