EIA expects natural gas to be largest source of U.S. electricity generation this summer
U.S. Energy Information Administration
Events Calendar (All Times Local)
EPA seeks delay over rule curbing coal plants’ toxic pollution
The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday asked a federal court to delay an oral argument in a challenge involving a 2012 regulation limiting the amount of mercury, lead and other airborne toxins emitted from power plants. While the power sector has largely already complied with the rule, several companies and 15 states — including Oklahoma, which was represented by current EPA head Scott Pruitt when he was the state’s attorney general — are seeking to overturn it.
Policy Advisers Urge Trump to Keep U.S. in Paris Accord
President Trump’s most influential policy advisers are urging him to keep the United States in the landmark Paris climate accord of 2015, a move that would break one of his signature campaign promises and further downgrade the counsel of his senior strategist, Stephen K. Bannon. Mr. Trump plans to make a final decision on the fate of the Paris agreement before a meeting of the Group of 7 leading economies at the end of May, according to Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary.
EPA union asks Pruitt for meeting over talk of closing office
The labor union representing Environmental Protection Agency workers at a regional office reportedly on the chopping block are asking for a meeting with the agency’s administrator this week. AFGE Local 704, which represents 1,000 EPA employees in the Midwest, invited Scott Pruitt to a lunch meeting on Wednesday during his trip to the Chicago area, saying, “We need to talk.”
Hard questions for Pruitt in city ‘bombarded by lead’
U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s “Back-to-Basics” tour will touch down tomorrow in East Chicago, Ind., an industrial city in the throes of a lead-contamination crisis. As EPA’s budget is slashed and more work is handed to state agencies, environmentalists and community activists in East Chicago are worried about the Trump administration turning its back on environmental justice.
European Stocks Advance as Haven Demand Eases
European markets struck a note of cautious optimism on Wednesday, with stocks rising and haven assets declining. U.K. shares fell as the pound extended its gain following the surprise election announcement. Banks and automakers helped spur the rebound in Stoxx Europe 600 Index following the biggest one-day loss since November. Sterling edged higher after hitting the strongest level since October on Tuesday.
Oil and Natural Gas
Obama alumnus: Should have built Keystone
Adam Sieminski, who was administrator of the Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration under President Obama, says with a laugh that now he’s left the government, he can have an opinion again. On the sidelines of a Brookings Institution confab in D.C. on Monday, he told Axios: “One opinion I don’t have to stifle anymore is that I think the Keystone XL pipeline should have been built.”
Big Oil’s Rejection of Silicon Valley Is Finally Coming to End
The nodding donkey was invented nearly a century ago, and it’s still hard at work in the oil patch, virtually unchanged, pumping oil out of the ground. There’s been a recent innovation, though: Algorithms adjust the extraction flow based on computer monitoring hundreds of feet below.
Utilities and Infrastructure
Cyber attack would leave East Coast dazed, Energy Dept. says
A cyber attack on the East Coast’s energy system would result in widespread public confusion as everything from electricity to gasoline supplies would be cut off for as much as several weeks, the Energy Department said Tuesday. The agency released a report outlining the results of a major cyber-attack simulation conducted in December called “Liberty Eclipse.”
L.A. County creates a lower-cost alternative for Southern California Edison customers
Southern California Edison customers in Los Angeles County soon will have an alternative way to get their electricity — from a new government-run utility promising lower bills and easier access to clean-energy options. The county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved the public energy program, which they say will help reduce power bills by as much as 5% below what customers pay Edison.
Energy Regulator: ‘World Isn’t Sitting Still’ While Commission Is Hamstrung
A key energy regulator wants to address the problems that some state energy policies have created for grid operators, but can’t actually take action until more commissioners are chosen by President Donald Trump, a senior official said Tuesday. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission faces vacancies at a pivotal time, when it is trying to address conflicting priorities between states and regional organizations.
China to erect fewer farms, generate less solar power in 2017
China, home to the world’s largest installations of solar farms, will install fewer panels in 2017, taking a breather for the first time in five years, amid arrears in government subsidies and bottleneck problems with the country’s power grids, analysts said. Chinese solar farms will add between 26 and 28 gigawatts (GW) of solar power generating capacity this year, with their share of the global market shrinking to 33 per cent from 44 per cent in 2016, according to a forecast by IHS Markit.
Coal company plans huge solar farm on strip mine
An Eastern Kentucky coal mining company on Tuesday announced its plans to build what could become the state’s largest solar farm on a reclaimed mountaintop strip mine, promising jobs for displaced coal miners and energy production. The Berkeley Energy Group and EDF Renewable Energy are working to explore what they’re billing as the first large-scale solar project in Appalachia.
Scottish wind powers housebuilding in groundbreaking joint venture
Amid the rolling hills and woodland pastures of south-east Scotland, a wind of change is blowing through communities where low wages and casual work sit uneasily alongside the popular image of timeless market towns and pretty coastal villages. High above rich arable land by the North Sea, three tall wind turbines, blades spinning wildly, have started generating electricity for the national grid with two social purposes: to sell energy and use the income to deliver hundreds of new homes in a scattered rural community while, at the same time, providing additional funds for similar schemes elsewhere in Scotland.
Coal Plants Not Reopening Under Trump: Federal Utility CEO
The CEO of the nation’s biggest public utility said Tuesday that the agency isn’t going to reopen coal-fired power plants under President Donald Trump, who has promised a comeback for the downtrodden coal industry.
NRC Vacancies Concern House Members
Three leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee — Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore.; Subcommittee on Energy Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich.; and Subcommittee on Environment Chairman John Shimkus, R-Ill. — have sent a letter asking President Donald J. Trump to fill current and future vacancies at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. “Absent a nomination and confirmation of additional commissioners, the Commission will lack a quorum on July 1 when Chairman Svinicki’s current term expires.”
Three Mile Island, like much of nuclear industry, is on the brink
Nuclear power, which generates more than a third of Pennsylvania’s electricity, could soon disappear from the state amid a glut of cheap natural gas from the Marcellus Shale play. And the first of state’s five plants to fall could be Three Mile Island, which could close as soon as 2019.
Amazon Web Services has been winning business worldwide from companies that are stripping down their data centers and taking advantage of emerging cloud technologies. Some clients are signing on for a different reason: climate change.
Opinions, Editorials and Perspectives
Oil Drillers’ Vanishing Safety Net
A lot of companies view revolving credit lines the way some rock climbers view harnesses and ropes: They would rather not use them, but they’re glad to have them when trouble strikes. So it’s worth paying attention when a corporation starts withdrawing a substantial amount of money under these prearranged agreements with banks.
‘The Ocean Is Boiling’: The Complete Oral History of the 1969 Santa Barbara Oil Spill
On the morning of January 29th, 1969, Santa Barbara News-Press reporter Bob Sollen received a call from an anonymous source. When he answered, the voice at the other end of the line rang out clear and urgent: “The ocean is boiling.”
The relationship between climate change and the endangered rainforest shrub Triunia robusta (Proteaceae) endemic to southeast Queensland, Australia
Threatened species in rainforests may be vulnerable to climate change, because of their potentially narrow thermal tolerances, small population sizes and restricted distributions. This study modelled climate induced changes on the habitat distribution of the endangered rainforest plant Triunia robusta, endemic to southeast Queensland, Australia.