U.S. Energy News

Trump administration halts new pollution controls at Utah coal-fired plants

COAL: An appeals court agrees to a Trump administration request to halt new pollution controls at Utah’s oldest coal-fired power plants, reversing Obama-era rules aimed at reducing haze near national parks. (Associated Press)

OIL & GAS: A pressure buildup forced a California utility to shut down a third of the wells at the Aliso Canyon gas storage facility, which recently reopened following the largest-known methane leak in U.S. history. (Associated Press)

PIPELINES: An analysis by the Minnesota Department of Commerce says a new oil pipeline across the northern part of the state is not needed and that the aging Line 3 it’s supposed to replace should be shut down. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

UTILITIES:
• A California utility and clean energy advocates are about to square off over plans to build a 262-megawatt natural gas plant, with a hearing scheduled this week to discuss what a solar-plus-storage alternative may cost. (Utility Dive)
• Repairing damage to the power grid from Hurricane Irma is poised to be “one of the largest industry restoration efforts in U.S. history.” (Greentech Media)
• Florida Power & Light on Monday began responding to power outages across the state as the White House urged patience, saying power could be out for weeks. (South Florida Business Journal, McClatchy)
• Regulators issue a waiver for Florida electricity companies to violate clean air and water standards without penalty for the next two weeks as they maintain and restore power. (Associated Press)

EFFICIENCY: A small utility fee increase in a proposed Minneapolis city budget would raise millions to promote energy efficiency — and pay for itself many times over, according to advocates. (Midwest Energy News)

REGULATION: The Senate could vote soon on two final nominees to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, according to Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski. (The Hill)

POLICY: A roundup of environmental protections that have been eroded by the Trump administration. (High Country News)

POLITICS: During an interview, Hillary Clinton says she believes a campaign event in West Virginia’s coal country significantly affected her presidential run. (NPR)

SOLAR: Tesla will lay off 63 SolarCity employees in Roseville, California, in addition to 141 layoffs announced there last month. (Sacramento Business Journal)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Volkswagen announces a sweeping plan to build electric versions of all 300 of its models by 2030. (Bloomberg)
• Tesla is building EV charging stations in city centers, including Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and Washington. (Associated Press)
• Volkswagen and Daimler announce plans to make long-range electric vehicles. (USA Today)
• Tesla issued free over-the-air battery upgrades to drivers in Florida to help them escape Hurricane Irma. (Quartz)

CLIMATE:
• Between 1880 and 2010, greenhouse gas emissions from 90 companies — including Chevron and ExxonMobil — accounted for up to 50 percent of global temperature increases and 26 to 32 percent of global sea level rise, according to a new study. (InsideClimate News)
Four ways climate change could make hurricanes even worse. (Washington Post)
• Following back-to-back hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the White House would not answer questions on Monday about whether climate change may have been a factor. (ABC)
• Meanwhile, Pope Francis criticized climate change skeptics following the storms, saying there is a moral duty to take action. (Associated Press)
• Detroit-based General Motors is among more than 1,200 global businesses that are embracing a price on carbon, even if the Trump administration will not. (Washington Post)

COMMENTARY:
• Recent developments could help a California utility move nuclear waste from the decommissioned San Onofre plant, which sits dangerously close to an earthquake fault at the edge of the Pacific Ocean, says the Los Angeles Times editorial board.
• A recent Energy Department report on the electric grid offered no remedies to save nuclear or coal, but did show how the nation’s energy policy goals contradict each other, says a former Colorado regulator. (Utility Dive)
• Two North Carolina state lawmakers — a Republican and a Democrat — say renewable energy is an economic issue, not a partisan one, citing a new solar and wind law in the state. (Southeast Energy News)
• A columnist says what Gov. Rick Scott has done to undo climate mitigation in Florida while in office, President Trump has begun to do nationally. (Washington Post)

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