Solar manufacturers say they’re ‘not out to kill the industry’

SOLAR: Troubled solar manufacturers Suniva and SolarWorld make their case for solar tariffs during a hearing at the International Trade Commission, saying they’re “not out to kill the industry.” (New York Times, Greentech Media)

ALSO:
• If the International Trade Commission sides with Suniva and SolarWorld on implementing solar tariffs, the case will quickly become political, with the final decision up to President Trump. (Greentech Media)
• The city council of El Paso, Texas, says a proposed rate increase on rooftop solar customers would harm the solar industry. (Houston Chronicle)
• A utility on the Hawaiian island of Kauai wants to provide customers with two new options to receive credit when installing a solar system: “customers self-supply” and “smart export.” (Pacific Business News)
• After a failed legislative effort to keep rooftop solar incentives in Maine, groups are challenging regulators’ new solar rule in court.

EPA plans to overhaul wastewater rule for power plants

COAL: EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt says he plans to revise a wastewater rule for power plants that the agency put on hold in April. (Associated Press)

POLITICS: The Sierra Club seeks to force the Energy Department to reveal the groups it consulted with in developing its grid reliability study. (Reuters)

FERC: New FERC chair Neil Chatterjee said Monday that coal and nuclear plants must be compensated properly “to recognize the value they provide to the system.” (Washington Examiner)

NUCLEAR:
• Efforts to give hundreds of millions of dollars in tax credits to the Vogtle nuclear project in Georgia seem stuck in the U.S. Senate as lawmakers look at a broader tax overhaul. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
• Supporters of Georgia’s troubled Vogtle nuclear plant are asking the Trump administration to help the project to ensure its completion. (Bloomberg)
• An analysis says it is likely that future plans to build full size nuclear reactors in the U.S. “are now being put on indefinite hold.” (Energy Collective)
• Former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz says the decline of the U.S. nuclear sector is a threat to national security.

Report: Emissions not expected to increase under Trump

EMISSIONS: U.S. emissions should stay relatively flat over the next few years, even with the Trump administration’s rollback of climate-friendly policies, according to a new report. (Washington Post)

POLITICS:
• EPA chief Scott Pruitt announces that his staff will gauge the “accuracy” of a major federal climate change report, saying “science should not be politicized.” (Politico)
• Some White House and Republican officials are considering West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin to lead the U.S. Department of Energy. (Bloomberg)

EPA:
• California’s attorney general is suing the EPA for documents to determine whether Administrator Scott Pruitt has a conflict of interest. (Los Angeles Times)
• EPA employees say Scott Pruitt is taking extraordinary measures to conceal his actions at the agency. (New York Times)
• The courts are proving to be a considerable obstacle to the Trump administration’s efforts to overturn and block environmental policies at the EPA.

Report: Fewer North American oil companies are filing for bankruptcy

OIL & GAS: A new report shows the number of North American oil companies filing for bankruptcy has fallen from 50 to 14 compared to the same period last year. (Houston Chronicle)

ALSO:
• A proposed natural gas export terminal on Oregon’s coast may be revived by new FERC commissioners. (Marketplace)
• A Houston-based oil and gas producer with plans to drill off the coast of Alaska has a troubling safety and environmental track record. (InsideClimate News)
• A group of Republican senators tell President Trump not to sanction Venezuelan oil companies because it could hurt U.S. refiners that depend on Venezuelan oil. (The Hill)
• Local resistance has stalled plans for offshore drilling, and only one coastal governor in the Southeast still supports it.

Appeals court delays litigation over Obama-era climate rule

CLEAN POWER PLAN: A U.S. appeals court agrees to delay litigation over the Clean Power Plan for an additional 60 days, dealing a blow to environmentalists. (E&E News)

COAL:
• Coal generation will exceed natural gas generation in 2017 and 2018, according to a report from U.S. Energy Information Administration. (Utility Dive)
• Pennsylvania-based Talen Energy says it will keep running Montana’s Colstrip Generating Station, one of the largest coal-fired power plants in the Western U.S., despite a declaration last year that a new operator would be needed by mid-2018. (Associated Press)
• Scientists studying the aftermath of a coal-ash spill in North Carolina have discovered a byproduct of coal that may pose human health risks, making burned coal even more toxic than previously thought. (Bloomberg)
• West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice also says President Trump is “really interested” and “likes the idea” of giving federal money to power plants that burn coal from Appalachia.

Report: Declining tax support threatens U.S. wind industry growth

WIND: A federal report found that U.S. wind energy almost doubled from 2011 to 2016, but weakening federal incentives could impact the industry’s growth going forward. (Bloomberg)

SOLAR:
• A new, two-part proposal could supersede Rocky Mountain Power’s controversial plan to increase fees for residential solar customers in Utah. (Salt Lake Tribune, ThinkProgress)
• Solar groups are demanding an explanation for why California regulators would accept a proposal by utilities to shift their peak time-of-use periods, saying it goes against established methodology. (Greentech Media)
• Plans are underway for a 20-megawatt solar project that would be the largest installation on a capped landfill in Maine. (Portland Press Herald)
• The two companies petitioning for a tariff on imported solar panels say it would create nearly 150,000 solar-related jobs in the U.S. — a claim opponents call “preposterous.” (Greentech Media)

STORAGE:
• A demand response provider and behind-the-meter battery startup launch an effort to combine their technologies into an “integrated solution for managing electricity demand.” (Greentech Media)
• How Tesla has helped the Hawaiian island of Kauai by installing a combined solar-and-storage plant that provides enough energy to power 4,500 homes for four hours.

Interior Department rescinds Obama-era rule on coal royalties

COAL: The Interior Department rescinds an Obama-era rule that reformed how energy companies value coal extracted from federal and tribal lands. (Associated Press)

OIL & GAS:
• In a win for the oil industry, the Interior Department is overhauling rules to protect the sage grouse, saying the new plan will conserve the birds’ habitat “while also ensuring conservation efforts do not impede local economic opportunities.” (Reuters)
• BP says it has hit one of the most productive natural gas wells that the San Juan Basin in New Mexico has seen in more than a decade. (Associated Press)

PIPELINES:
• Attorneys representing Nebraska landowners question company officials looking to build the Keystone XL pipeline during the opening day of public hearings. (Lincoln Journal Star)
• As Keystone XL hearings proceed, “the question of how the pipeline could affect the famed Ogallala Aquifer looms large.” (E&E News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• The troubled electric car start-up Faraday Future says it will build vehicles at an existing factory 200 miles north of Los Angeles. (Associated Press)
• Tesla says it’s planning to raise $1.5 billion in a first-ever debt offering in order to fund production of its Model 3 electric car and its battery Gigafactory in Nevada.

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.

U.S. Senate approves two FERC commissioners, restoring quorum

REGULATION: The Senate approves two Republicans for seats on Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, restoring a voting quorum to the commission that oversees the nation’s power grid and natural gas pipelines. (Associated Press)

POLITICS:
• A look at the legitimacy of President Trump’s most prominent climate and environmental claims as president. (New York Times)
• The Senate confirms President Trump’s pick for deputy secretary of the Energy Department. (Associated Press)

SOLAR:
• The U.S. has 33.4 gigawatts of solar online, and 9.4 gigawatts were interconnected to the grid by utilities in 2016, according to a report by the Smart Electric Power Alliance. (Utility Dive)
• A South Dakota-based utility will move forward with a study of net-metering customers after Montana lawmakers called for a comprehensive analysis earlier this year.

In reversal, EPA says it will comply with ozone pollution deadline

POLICY: EPA administrator Scott Pruitt reverses course on plans to delay an Obama-era smog pollution regulation, saying the agency will comply with the rule’s original October 1 deadline. (Associated Press)

POLITICS: Sources say President Trump is considering making Energy Secretary Rick Perry the new secretary of homeland security. (Bloomberg)

OIL & GAS: A West Texas board approves an oilman’s plan to pump 5.4 million gallons of water a day from an aquifer to be used for fracking, despite opposition from landowners and environmentalists. (Houston Chronicle, Associated Press)

PIPELINES: A Houston startup is planning to build a $2 billion natural gas liquids pipeline across Texas. (Houston Chronicle)

COAL:
• Coal jobs and production in Kentucky are continuing to decline, despite President Trump’s campaign promises to revitalize the industry.