U.S. Energy News

Trump nominates coal lobbyist for EPA deputy administrator

POLITICS:
• President Trump nominates a coal industry lobbyist and former congressional staffer as deputy administrator of the EPA, drawing criticism from environmental groups. (New York Times)
• The Interior Department reopens 10 million acres of sage grouse habitat in six Western states to potential mining, reversing an Obama-era action to protect the bird. (Deseret News)

POLICY: Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s plan for price supports for coal and nuclear plants draws criticism from a wide range of groups. (Greentech Media)

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REGULATION: In nixing the Clean Power Plan, the Trump administration may limit how the government calculates benefits from curbing emissions and air pollution. (Politico)

WIND:
• A panel in Delaware will recommend strategies for developing wind power and job opportunities in the offshore wind industry. (Associated Press)
• U.S. wind installations could surpass 10 gigawatts a year, according to the CEO of Apex Clean Energy, one of America’s biggest wind installers. (Greentech Media)
• With pricey new transmission lines needed to expand wind development in Maine, grid regulators and industry players from all over New England are asking federal regulators to let them cluster projects together to lower costs. (Maine Public)

SOLAR: Eight solar manufacturers visit with federal and White House officials to lobby against potential tariffs on imported solar equipment. (Greentech Media)

RENEWABLES: In the face of potential barriers put up by the Trump administration, the wind and solar industries are turning to conservative lawmakers for support. (Bloomberg)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• The Boeing-backed startup Zunum Aero is working on a 12-seat, hybrid-electric aircraft that can fly about 700 miles, and it could be put into commercial service within five years. (Bloomberg)
• Manufacturers are installing more charging stations around the country with increasingly shorter charge times for electric vehicles. (New York Times)

TRANSPORTATION: A bicycle advocacy organization in Traverse City, Michigan says a key for cities to cut transportation emissions is to think small(Midwest Energy News)

BIOFUEL: More than three dozen U.S. senators ask the EPA to scrap plans to lower biofuel requirements for oil refiners in 2018. (Reuters)

OIL & GAS:
• Alaska’s oil wealth investment fund cuts payouts to residents from $2,200 to $1,100 to help the state pay its bills amid a recession. (Associated Press)
• Oil and natural gas operators are stopping production at some platforms in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of Tropical Storm Nate, as Louisiana prepares for the storm to make landfall this weekend. (Reuters)
• The Ohio Power Siting Board approves plans for two natural gas plants that total 2,040 megawatts. (Associated Press)

COAL: A worker dies after slipping into a coal ash pond at a power plant in Kentucky. (Associated Press)

PIPELINES: TransCanada scraps plans to build a controversial pipeline that would have carried over a million barrels of crude oil from western Canada to the Atlantic coast per day; the decision may affect an existing pipeline from Maine to Montreal. (Reuters, Portland Press Herald)

NUCLEAR:
• A nuclear plant in New Jersey, which is the oldest in the nation, may shut down ahead of a 2019 closure date. (Philadelphia Business Journal)
• A Florida lawmaker is asking for stronger measures to prepare for rising sea levels and major hurricanes as Florida Power & Light proposes expanding its Turkey Point nuclear plant. (Miami New Times)

GRID:
• Tesla CEO Eon Musk offers to rebuild Puerto Rico’s power grid in the wake of Hurricane Maria, and the governor responds, “Let’s talk.” (Huffington Post)
• Recent hurricanes could lead to grid modernization in Florida, Puerto Rico and Texas. (Utility Dive)

COMMENTARY: There’s little way for President Trump to salvage the coal industry, but he’s trying by keeping old, obsolete power plants alive and forcing consumers to overpay for their electricity, says a writer at Slate.

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