U.S. Energy News

Trump administration’s push for coal mining on federal lands roils conservationists

COAL: Conservationists and landowners are worried about the Trump administration’s push for more coal mining on federally owned lands. (New York Times)

ALSO:
• In a “huge win” for environmentalists, a federal judge orders the Tennessee Valley Authority to dig up coal ash from its Gallatin plant and move it to a landfill with a liner to protect nearby water. (The Tennessean)
• Despite campaign promises to revitalize the coal industry, President Trump is pushing measures that would slow the development of “clean coal.” (Time)

EFFICIENCY: Thirty states and the District of Columbia have energy efficiency policies in place, according to the Energy Information Administration. (Utility Dive)

GRID:
• With a voting quorum for the first time in six months, FERC will need to catch up with rapidly accelerating changes on the grid. (Greentech Media)
• A utility in Hawaii is pushing to modernize its aging power grid as more renewables come online. (The Maui News)

EMISSIONS: A Volkswagen executive pleads guilty to helping the automaker rig its diesel cars with devices to circumvent federal emissions tests. (New York Times)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Toyota will team up with Mazda to build a $1.6 billion U.S. assembly plant that’s focused on EV technology. (Reuters)

CLIMATE: The Trump administration formally notifies the United Nations that it will abandon the Paris climate accord, but says it will still participate in climate negotiations later this year. (New York Times)

CLEAN ENERGY: Chicago’s Southeast Side and Newton, Iowa — both with a history of thriving industries — offer contrasting tales of using clean energy to rebuild the local economy. (Midwest Energy News)

SOLAR: A trade complaint issued by Georgia-based solar panel manufacturer Suniva has caused uncertainty surrounding the prospect of a tariff on imported panels, putting projects on hold and driving up prices. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

HYDROELECTRIC: A developer wants to build a $200 million hydroelectric plant, citing Appalachia’s need to compensate for the decline of coal-fired power. (The Intelligencer)

BIOMASS: Biomass power plants are seeing a surge in development in the Southeast, with one advocate calling it the new coal. (Southeast Energy News)

NUCLEAR: Expansion projects to nuclear plants in South Carolina and Georgia were supposed to kick off a “nuclear renaissance,” but that vision is in tatters. (NPR)

POLITICS: Most energy and environment staff positions at the White House science office are vacant, including nearly all employees dedicated solely to climate change. (E&E News)

OIL & GAS:
• A Texas-based oil company that is owed $75 million in tax credits from the state of Alaska may need to suspend drilling operations on the edge of Alaska’s Cook Inlet, which would affect about 300 employees. (Associated Press)
• North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration is hosting public hearings this week on President Trump’s proposed drilling off the state’s coast as opponents prepare for a fight. (Southeast Energy News)

FRACKING: Researchers say fracking is causing invasive, non-native plant species to spread through forests in northern Pennsylvania. (Lancaster Online)

PIPELINES:
• President Trump’s slowness to fill FERC vacancies helped create a growing backlog of natural gas pipeline projects. (Politico)
• West Virginia oil and gas officials say U.S. Senate confirmation of two FERC nominees could fast track the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast Pipeline projects. (Exponent Telegram)
• A Pennsylvania judge says Sunoco can resume construction on portions of the Mariner East 2 pipeline after work was suspended last month when residents’ wells were contaminated from project-related drilling. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

COMMENTARY: 
• The failure to complete two nuclear reactors in South Carolina is a sign that nuclear power will play a reduced role in lowering carbon emissions, says a writer for the Washington Post.
• People need to organize to stop the fossil fuel industry from undermining net metering and other renewable energy incentives, says the director of the Climate Justice Project at the Institute for Policy Studies. (The Hill)

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