U.S. Energy News

Trump scraps tighter rules for fracking on public lands

REGULATION: The Trump administration rescinds an Obama-era rule that would have tightened environmental regulations for fracking on public lands.  (Washington Post)

• President Trump moves to roll back safety rules for offshore oil drilling that were put in place after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. (New York Times)
• In a reversal of an Obama policy, the Trump administration will no longer prosecute wind, solar, oil and gas operators that accidentally kill migratory birds. (Washington Post)

EPA: How EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has worked to dismantle President Obama’s environmental legacy by transforming the agency’s mission. (Washington Post)

• New York and seven other northeastern states are suing the EPA to force the agency to restrict air pollution coming from upwind states in Appalachia and the Rust Belt. (Quartz)
• Breathing air with pollution levels well below national safety standards still leads to premature deaths for elderly Americans, according to a recent study. (Quartz)

OIL & GAS: U.S. crude oil production is nearing record highs thanks to drilling in shale oil fields around the country. (Washington Post)

• Coal mining giant Murray Energy slams three environmental groups for suggesting the company was instrumental in crafting a DOE proposal to subsidize coal-fired power plants. (The Hill)
• The new tax reform package will help the coal industry by preserving billions of dollars in coal subsidies. (New Republic)
• The U.S. Interior Department retracts an announcement that it approved the expansion of a Montana coal mine, saying the mistake was due to an “internal miscommunication.” (Associated Press)
• A West Virginia coal miner was killed on the job on Dec. 29, bringing the total number of U.S. coal mining fatalities to 15 for 2017. (West Virginia Public Broadcasting)

• New Mexico will lease 1,600 acres to a California-based energy company for the development of a wind farm. (Albuquerque Business First)
• Fishermen in Massachusetts fear offshore wind turbines will make it difficult to navigate and cut into fishing grounds. (Associated Press)
• Advocates hope an offshore wind project under development in Lake Erie will spark projects elsewhere in the Great Lakes after interest peaked nearly 10 years ago. (Ensia)

SOLAR: Installing solar arrays on buildings, lakes and contaminated land would allow California to meet its 2025 electricity demands without sacrificing farmland, according to a new study. (Yale Environment 360)

• Companies of all sizes took the lead on renewable energy in 2017, despite the Trump administration’s inaction on climate change. (Greentech Media)
• Photos of storm-damaged solar arrays and wind turbines in Puerto Rico raise doubts about how well the technologies can withstand hurricanes. (Washington Examiner)

GRID: About half of Puerto Ricans are still without power 100 days after Hurricane Maria hit the island, according to government figures. (New York Times)

• Tesla CEO Elon Musk says the company plans to make an electric pickup truck after the release of its Model Y SUV. (Associated Press)
• Electric and plug-in hybrid car sales for 2017 are expected to be up nearly 30 percent but still only account for about 1 percent of U.S. sales. (Los Angeles Times)

UTILITIES: A roundup of last year’s top developments in rate design, distributed energy deployments, and utility business models. (Greentech Media)

MICHIGAN: The executive director of the Michigan Agency for Energy discusses the future of an oil and gas pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac as well as the state’s clean energy potential. (Midwest Energy News)

• Rolling back the Clean Power Plan will damage the U.S. fight against climate change by hampering ambitions to do better, says a writer at Vox.
• Solar industry expert Barry Cinnamon gives his predictions for rooftop solar and storage in 2018. (Greentech Media)

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