U.S. Energy News

Study: Six-fold spike in Texas earthquakes is linked to oil and gas activity

OIL & GAS: Texas has seen a six-fold spike in earthquakes since companies began injecting wastewater from oil and gas wells underground, and the affected faults haven’t experienced seismic activity for 300 million years, according to a new study. (Scientific American, Washington Post)

ALSO:
• Advocates say Florida’s heavy reliance on natural gas has exposed utility customers to economic risk and market volatility, with hedging already costing Floridians at least $6.9 billion since 2006. (Southeast Energy News)
• A proposed oil-by-rail terminal in Washington state poses a risk of oil spills and train accidents, and “the consequences of the events could be severe,” according to an environmental study. (Associated Press)
• U.S. diplomats are demanding to see six oil executives from Houston-based Citgo, who were jailed in Venezuela for alleged embezzlement. (Associated Press)
• ExxonMobil and several other energy firms sign an agreement to crack down on methane emissions from the natural gas sector. (The Hill)

PIPELINES:
• A 65-year-old climate activist who shut down a tar sands pipeline in Montana last year is found guilty after his defense team was barred from referring to climate change during the trial. (Huffington Post)
• TransCanada has recovered more than 1,000 barrels of oil from the recent Keystone pipeline spill, but the company has not set a restart date for the pipeline. (Reuters)
• South Dakota regulators say they could revoke a permit for the Keystone pipeline if the company is found to have violated its terms. (InsideClimate News)
• A petition delivered to prosecutors in North Dakota seeks to drop all charges against defendants involved with last year’s Dakota Access pipeline protests. (Bismarck Tribune)

COAL ASH: Environmental regulators in Illinois will continue hearing testimony to determine whether several coal ash storage sites in northern Illinois are contaminating nearby water sources. (Midwest Energy News)

BIOFUELS: The U.S. EPA will not make major changes to federal rules on ethanol blending into gasoline. (Radio Iowa)

SOLAR: Pennsylvania will restart a grant program that gives companies up to $5,000 for each solar-manufacturing job created. (Pittsburgh Business Times)

STORAGE: Tesla finishes construction on the world’s largest lithium-ion battery at a wind farm in South Australia. (Reuters)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A proposed ordinance in Juneau, Alaska, would require electric vehicle owners to obtain a $50 per year permit in order to use city-owned charging stations. (Associated Press)

TECHNOLOGY:
• Researchers predict that wave energy converters moored along coastal regions of the U.S. will be providing power to millions of homes in coming decades. (NBC)
• Power conversion systems built by Texas-based Ideal Power are increasing the efficiency of generators in the Caribbean by allowing them to run at full capacity and store extra power that’s not immediately used. (Greentech Media)

NUCLEAR:
• Newly disclosed documents show information was removed two years ago from a report about the now-failed Summer nuclear project that would have alerted investors and regulators about some of the project’s problems. (Post and Courier)
• An audit shows a contractor overcharged the TVA by more than $6.8 million to help finish construction at the Watts Bar Nuclear Power Plant in Tennessee. (Times Free Press)

CLIMATE: A Trump administration official reaffirms support for an Obama-era climate policy that phases down potent greenhouse gases used in refrigeration and cooling. (Axios)

COMMENTARY:
• A climate activist who helped shut down pipelines carrying tar sands oil into the U.S. last year says she hoped to set legal precedent by using the “necessity defense.”  (The Guardian)
• A “toxic” bill in the House of Representatives would expand oil and gas drilling off the California coast and strip away safeguards in the Marine Mammal Protection Act, says the editorial board of the Los Angeles Times.
• An executive vice president at Suniva says the U.S. solar industry needs help fighting unfair competition from China. (Washington Post)

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