U.S. Energy News

UN: International community must convince Trump on climate agreement

CLIMATE: The deputy secretary-general of the United Nations says the international community must convince President Trump to keep the U.S. in the Paris climate agreement. (Newsweek)

CARBON TAX: Lawmakers in Vermont are proposing bills to institute carbon taxes, which they hope will be enacted during next year’s legislative session. (VT Digger)

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REGULATION: An appeals court grants an EPA request to delay oral arguments in a case over an Obama-era smog rule that imposes tighter restrictions on ground-level ozone. (Washington Post)

POLICY: An act introduced in the Senate could cripple the growth of property-assessed clean energy (PACE) financing, which helps fund building efficiency upgrades and rooftop solar. (Greentech Media)

BIOFUEL: Billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who is working for the Trump administration to reform the Renewable Fuel Standard, positioned his oil refining company to bet against biofuels credits by selling millions of them. (Reuters)

SOLAR:
• Solar power supplied about half of California’s electricity demand for the first time on March 11, according to new estimates. (Associated Press)
• A San Francisco-based startup is partnering with Wal-Mart to power 27 of its stores in Southern California using batteries and on-site solar, while also providing flexible power to utilities. (Greentech Media)

GRID: The microgrid market will favor using natural gas over renewables if left to its own devices, according to a new study. (Greentech Media)

CARBON CAPTURE: Entrepreneurs are starting to adapt carbon capture technology for natural gas plants. (NPR)

EMISSIONS: Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions fell 1.7 percent in 2016, despite increases in the use of oil and natural gas, according to a recent report. (The Hill)

OIL & GAS:
• How President Trump’s executive order to roll back Obama-era climate rules could make it easier for energy companies to drill in national parks. (Fusion)
• Duke University delays voting on a $55 million combined heat-and-power plant that Duke Energy has proposed building on the campus after questions were raised about whether it could be powered with biogas instead of shale gas obtained through fracking. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• Lawmakers are warning the Trump administration that Russia’s state-owned oil company might end up owning Houston-based Citgo, posing “a grave threat to American energy security.” (CNN)
• A burst of shale drilling could push U.S. oil production close to a 1970 record high by the end of 2018, according to the Energy Information Administration. (FuelFix)

PIPELINES: As Alaska’s oil production declines, the state’s 800-mile Trans Alaska Pipeline System is experiencing slow oil flows that could make it unusable in the Arctic cold. (Bloomberg)

COAL:
• A Montana legislative committee fails to advance a bill that would have required the owners of a coal-fired power plant to pay for the economic losses caused by an impending shutdown scheduled for 2022. (Associated Press)
• The president of Xcel Energy says a power plant east of Boulder, Colorado, has stopped burning coal and will only use natural gas going forward. (Boulder Daily Camera)

NUCLEAR:
• Toshiba says it may not survive as a company after projecting a $9.2 billion loss for the fiscal year, largely due to the bankruptcy of U.S. nuclear unit Westinghouse Electric. (Associated Press)
• The nuclear power industry is pressing lawmakers in Connecticut, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania for financial help to keep plants open. (Associated Press)
• Critics say a bill to subsidize two nuclear plants in Ohio using a zero-emission nuclear program could conflict with federal law by improperly interfering with electricity markets. (Midwest Energy News)

UTILITIES: A Virginia lawmaker explains why he’ll no longer accept campaign donations from Dominion as he fights a law impacting the way customers are charged. (Southeast Energy News)

COMMENTARY:
• As big solar companies downsize and declare bankruptcy, more agile local providers are stepping in to deliver better service and better pricing, says the founder and CEO of PowerScout. (Greentech Media)
• Wind power would help bring economic opportunity to rural communities in South Dakota, says a farmer who serves on the board of Prevailing Winds, LLC. (Argus Leader)

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