U.S. Energy News

Republican tax plan would cut credits for wind, electric vehicles

POLICY:
• House Republicans unveil a tax plan that would end a $7,500 credit for electric vehicles, cut wind energy credits and extend a $6 billion lifeline to the nuclear industry. (Reuters, Bloomberg)
• Energy Secretary Rick Perry says a proposed rule to prop up coal and nuclear plants is “rebalancing the market” to correct for the Obama administration’s support of renewable energy. (Greentech Media)

REGULATION: The Senate confirms two new members to FERC, re-establishing a full five-member commission. (The Hill)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: The EPA will hold a public hearing this month in West Virginia on its plan to repeal the Clean Power Plan. (The Hill)

SOLAR:
• More utilities are proposing to put solar customers into a “separate Distributed Generation customer class,” starting new debates between utilities and solar advocates. (Utility Dive)
• A dispute over whether state agencies can enter into third-party solar contracts means a goal set by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe may not be met. (Southeast Energy News)

MICROGRIDS: U.S. military spending on microgrids in order to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels is expected to reach $1.4 billion by 2026. (Utility Dive)

BIOFUELS: One of the largest ethanol plants in the country abruptly closes in Iowa. (KCCI)

COAL:
• FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee said Thursday some power customers may need to pay higher electric bills in order to prop up the declining coal-mining industry, but insisted “it would not be a federal subsidy.” (Courier Journal)
• There has been no sustained employment rebound in Kentucky for coal mining so far under the Trump Administration, data from July through September shows. (Lexington Herald-Leader)

POLLUTION: Harbor commissioners adopt a plan to slash air pollution from diesel trucks and cargo handling equipment at the country’s largest shipping port complex in Southern California. (Los Angeles Times)

OIL & GAS: During a four-hour Senate meeting, Democrats and Republicans went head to head over whether to open Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling. (The Hill)

PIPELINES:
• A South Dakota farming family is suing the Dakota Access pipeline developer for failing to keep its promise to restore their land after construction. (Sioux Falls Argus Leader)
• The Dakota Access pipeline developer and the Army Corps of Engineers object to tribes’ efforts to bolster protections for their water supply, saying “measures are already in place” to do so. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR: A Republican tax plan that would extend a tax credit for the nuclear industry could benefit Southern Co.’s troubled Vogtle plant in Georgia. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

UTILITIES: A new report says consolidated, monopoly utilities deliver fewer customer benefits than alleged and undermine the public interest. (Institute for Local Self-Reliance)

GRID: Declining renewable energy costs coupled with more energy storage “will not be capable of meeting the baseload generation needs of a developed economy for the foreseeable future,” according to a new analysis. (Utility Dive)

EFFICIENCY: Performance contracting, a financing tool that pays for clean energy projects over time through avoided energy costs, continues to save public entities in Michigan millions of dollars a year. (Midwest Energy News)

CLIMATE:
• The White House says the Trump administration plans to promote coal, natural gas and nuclear energy as a means to fight climate change during a United Nations global warming conference in Germany this month. (New York Times)
• Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski says climate change is real, but she still wants to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to fossil fuel companies. (New York Times)

COMMENTARY:
• A new Republican tax bill would hurt the clean energy industry and put tens of thousands of jobs in jeopardy, while handing a gift to wealthy Americans and corporations, says a writer for ThinkProgress.
• A study shows the “ridiculous political divide on climate change” and how many people align their opinions along party lines, says a contributor to Forbes.

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