U.S. Energy News

Survey: Most Americans want to phase out coal and increase renewables

NOTE TO READERS: U.S. Energy News is taking a break for Thanksgiving. We’ll return on Monday, November 27.

RENEWABLES: Over 75 percent of Americans want to phase out coal power and believe the U.S. should be ambitious about producing clean energy, according to the largest-ever global survey on renewable energy. (Vox)

WIND:
• Advocates are hopeful that the Senate version of a tax overhaul bill will succeed at preserving wind energy credits, which are under threat in the House. (Utility Dive)
• A proposed wind energy project in eastern New Mexico is drawing opposition from conservationists and staff at the state’s utility regulation commission. (Albuquerque Business First, Associated Press)

SOLAR: The U.S. International Trade Commission makes its case for imposing solar tariffs in an official report, which has been sent to President Trump. (Utility Dive)

BIOFUEL: A Vermont college is contracting with a farm to provide renewable natural gas from cow manure. (Associated Press)

NATURAL GAS: Utility National Grid and software partner AutoGrid are going to apply the latest demand response technology to natural gas in New York City and Long Island. (Greentech Media)

FRACKING: Anti-fracking protesters shut down morning traffic at an office park outside Pittsburgh where 15 energy companies are located. (Common Dreams)

KEYSTONE XL:
• On a 3-2 vote, Nebraska regulators approve the Keystone XL pipeline through the state — but not TransCanada’s preferred route, raising questions about whether the company will continue to pursue the project. (Lincoln Journal Star)
• As opponents prepare for legal challenges, the project also faces market uncertainty after crude oil prices were cut in half since it was first proposed in 2008. (Reuters)
• Opponents are beginning to organize to potentially block construction through peaceful protest. (The Intercept)

PIPELINES:
• A climate activist will face trial in Montana for allegedly breaking into a fenced site to turn off a pipeline in October 2016. (Associated Press)
• Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection cites Sunoco for failing to report a drilling fluid leak related to the construction of its Mariner East 2 pipeline, adding to a host of violations by the company. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
• FERC issues a certificate for the expansion of the WB XPress Project in West Virginia and Virginia to move forward. (Natural Gas Intel)
• The final draft of a report analyzing alternative options for Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline through the Straits of Mackinac is released, drawing support from the company and criticism from opponents who say it is similar to an earlier draft. (MLive)
• TransCanada plans to collect water samples from a drainage ditch near the site of a 210,000-gallon oil spill from the Keystone pipeline in South Dakota. (Associated Press)

COAL:
• A Texas-based electric utility will cut about 800 jobs when it closes three coal-fired power plants in the state. (Houston Chronicle)
• A Kentucky coal mine supervisor is fined $2,000 and placed on probation for falsifying a safety-inspection record. (Lexington Herald-Leader)

NUCLEAR:
• The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has removed data from its website about how much low-level nuclear waste is going into other landfills, saying it is confidential. (Tennessean)
• A small South Carolina county will consider taking legal action against SCANA today because the company’s failed Summer nuclear project will not deliver tens of millions of dollars in annual property fees, as promised. (Post and Courier)
• A federal judge upheld a lawsuit by three environmental groups against Florida Power & Light over alleged water pollution from its Turkey Point nuclear plant. (Reuters)

GRID:
• Critics say a plan by grid operator PJM would reward coal and nuclear plants by allowing them to help set electricity prices on the wholesale market. (Midwest Energy News)
• Montana-based Whitefish Energy announces it will halt work to restore Puerto Rico’s power grid, claiming the island’s utility owes $83 million in unpaid invoices. (Associated Press)

UTILITIES: A request by Mississippi Power to raise rates by an average of $11.45 a month per customer is separate from its bid to recover costs from its failed Kemper “clean coal” plant, which is also likely to increase customers’ rates. (Utility Dive)

COMMENTARY:
• Widespread solar development on closed landfills is inching closer to reality, says the CEO of a New Jersey-based solar energy company. (Waste Dive)
• SunPower Founder Dick Swanson says he didn’t invent “Swanson’s Law,” which forecasts future cost reductions in solar, although it has been attributed to him. (Greentech Media)
• A Forbes contributor asks what’s next for Keystone XL? “Unfortunately for TransCanada, the likely answer is more litigation.”

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