U.S. Energy News

Source says GOP tax bill will preserve EV and wind tax credits

POLICY:
• A source says House and Senate negotiators have agreed to keep a $7,500 tax credit for electric vehicles and a wind production tax credit in their final tax bill. (Bloomberg)
• Republicans are starting to reconsider the GOP tax bill’s cuts to renewable energy, which could threaten wind and solar jobs for their constituents. (Vox)

RENEWABLES:
• Renewable energy resources, excluding hydropower, are expected to reach 10 percent of U.S. electricity generation next year. (Utility Dive)
• As more U.S. cities commit to 100 percent renewable energy goals, utilities are realizing they must either work with municipalities or risk losing customers. (Utility Dive)

SOLAR:
• Dozens of U.S. mayors from across the country release a joint statement in support of solar energy. (Solar Industry)
• Appalachian Power is planning its first utility-scale solar generation project in Virginia. (Solar Industry)

STORAGE: California regulators will vote next month on whether Pacific Gas & Electric will have to replace three natural gas plants with energy storage. (Los Angeles Times)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: In a move that threatens to encroach on Tesla’s territory, Toyota and Panasonic are teaming up to investigate the technological potential of batteries that use prismatic cells, which can power electric cars. (USA Today)

ADVOCACY: A conservative-led clean energy group forms in Wisconsin, joining similar chapters in Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and other states. (Midwest Energy News)

BIOFUELS: Top lawmakers from ethanol-producing states say they would consider proposals that help the oil refinery industry cope with federal biofuels regulation as long as changes don’t diminish the U.S. biofuels program. (Reuters)

OIL & GAS:
• The oil industry’s capital expenditures will increase by 15 percent in the United States next year, compared with an increase of 49 percent last year, according to a survey of more than 300 companies. (Houston Chronicle)
• A compromise reached in the final version of the GOP tax bill includes a plan to drill for oil in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. (The Hill)

FRACKING: Pregnant women who live within half a mile of a fracking site are 25 percent more likely to give birth to low-weight infants, according to a five-year study in Pennsylvania. (Washington Post)

COAL: A surge in coal exports has helped the struggling U.S. mining industry, especially in Appalachia. (New York Times)

CARBON CAPTURE: An expert at the DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy makes a case for carbon capture and storage. (Quartz)

NUCLEAR:
• A study by New York’s power grid operator found the state should have reliable electricity after closing two nuclear reactors in 2020 and 2021. (Reuters)
• The head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission tells lawmakers the government’s role in advancing new nuclear power designs will get more expensive if the Trump administration and Congress are serious about moving the reactors to market. (Washington Examiner)
• GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy lays off workers at a North Carolina facility, citing “current challenges in the nuclear power industry.” (Star News)

UTILITIES:
• Utilities in the Southwest Power Pool have cost customers $300 million by choosing to run expensive coal plants instead of using available wind power, according to a report by the Sierra Club. (Utility Dive)
• National Grid is using a new gas demand response program that educates customers on the financial benefits of using energy during off-peak hours. (Utility Dive)

POLITICS: EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and a crew of EPA aides spent four days promoting U.S. natural gas in Morocco, despite the agency playing no formal role in overseeing natural gas exports. (Washington Post)

CLIMATE: Two independent research teams say rainfall from Hurricane Harvey, which affected Texas and Louisiana, was significantly heavier than it would have been before the era of human-caused global warming. (Washington Post)

COMMENTARY:
• A series of stories on complaints and alleged health impacts from living near wind projects is “simply irresponsible journalism.” (DeSmogBlog)
• 
Scrapping the Clean Power Plan would hurt U.S. businesses, says the vice president of global corporate sustainability at VF Corporation. (GreenBiz)

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