U.S. Energy News

Federal trade officials show interest in solar tariff alternative

SOLAR:
• At the final hearing in a case brought by Suniva and SolarWorld, a trade panel shows interest in a proposal to implement an import license fee system for solar panels instead of tariffs. (Greentech Media)
• Republican senators are urging President Trump not to impose tariffs on imported solar panels. (Washington Examiner)

STORAGE: Energy storage deployments are up 46 percent compared to a year ago, according to a new report. (Greentech Media)

WIND:
• A look at why developers scrapped plans for a troubled offshore wind project in Massachusetts, just as U.S. offshore wind development is taking off. (Greentech Media)
• A plant in South Dakota that manufactures wind turbines and employs 409 is closing. (Aberdeen American News)

GEOTHERMAL: An initiative in New York state will offer $3.8 million to stimulate financing and installation of large-scale geothermal systems. (Associated Press)

EFFICIENCY: In a win for advocates of demand management technologies, FERC says states can’t block energy efficiency resources from competing in regional electricity markets. (Utility Dive)

GRID: Maine’s largest utility says its $1 billion transmission proposal is the cheapest way to deliver Canadian hydropower to Massachusetts. (Portland Press Herald)

ILLINOIS: The Illinois Commerce Commission is hosting a meeting today with officials and advocates to debate the impacts of more distributed generation on the grid, as well as support for struggling downstate coal plants. (Midwest Energy News)

UTILITIES: Overshadowed by a debate over coal ash, Duke Energy is also seeking to increase its fixed charge in North Carolina, which some advocates say is already too high. (Southeast Energy News)

COAL:
• Washington state regulators approve a plan to close a coal-fired power plant in Montana by 2027. (Billings Gazette)
• Coal executive Robert Murray says if the Senate version of tax reform is enacted, it would take away thousands of coal mining jobs. (CNN Money)

OIL & GAS:
• A provision in the Senate tax bill to open Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for drilling relies on outdated revenue estimates. (Mother Jones)
• Colorado’s oil and gas industry has been responsible for at least a dozen explosions since a natural gas home explosion killed two men in April. (Denver Post)

PIPELINES: West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection waives its legal authority to decide if the Atlantic Coast Pipeline would harm rivers and streams, following a similar decision last month for another proposed natural gas pipeline. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

NUCLEAR: South Carolina lawmakers introduced legislation that would stop SCANA and Santee Cooper from increasing customers’ bills to pay for the failed Summer nuclear project. (Post and Courier)

POLICY: The Trump administration wants to bolster coal and nuclear energy to achieve “resiliency,” but government data shows power outages are caused by grid disruptions, not a lack of generation. (Bloomberg)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: Following a two-day hearing in West Virginia, the Trump administration says it will hold three additional public hearings on its proposal to scrap the Clean Power Plan. (Associated Press)

EPA:
• The EPA’s inspector general will investigate an April meeting between Administrator Scott Pruitt and a coal mining industry group. (The Hill)
• After receiving criticism for preventing employees from presenting findings about climate change, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt says agency scientists will be free to publicly discuss their work from now on. (New York Times)

CLIMATE: Washington, D.C., is a national leader on climate change action, but being the hometown of the Trump administration puts it in a difficult position because 30 percent of the land is owned by the federal government. (Quartz)

COMMENTARY:
• A study used by the Energy Department to justify subsidies for coal and nuclear plants is deeply flawed, says a consultant for the DOE. (Utility Dive)
• The EPA is trying to reopen a loophole that would let truckers avoid clean-air requirements by putting old, dirty engines in new truck bodies, says the Los Angeles Times editorial board.

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