Natural gas inventory builds have been slightly below average thus far during the injection season
U.S. Energy Information Administration
House Republicans Reject Trump’s Bid to Slash EPA’s Funding
House Republicans rejected Donald Trump’s steep budgets cuts for the Environmental Protection Agency as members of the president’s party instead offered a trim in spending for the environmental regulator. Instead, congressional appropriators released a bill Tuesday that would slice the agency’s budget by 6.5 percent to $7.5 billion.
K Street work expands for Pruitt’s pals
Business has been good for U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s friends from his political days in Oklahoma. The Coffee Group has signed several new clients in recent months, including the National Alliance of Forest Owners, according to lobbying disclosure records released by the Senate last week. The registration shows that the firm has been lobbying on the Clean Air Act, specifically biomass policies and regulations, since May 26.
Zinke gathers 1.2 million comments on plan to shrink Bears Ears, other monuments
The Interior Department received more than 1.2 million public comments on its plan to review and possibly curtail the last 20 years of national monument designations, including the controversial Bears Ears monument in Utah designated by former President Barack Obama.
Rick Perry to visit Mexico
Energy Secretary Rick Perry will meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Mexican Energy Secretary Pedro Joaquín Coldwell in Mexico City on Thursday, the Department of Energy announced Tuesday.
Oil rises above $48 as API reports drop in U.S. fuel stocks
Oil rose above $48 a barrel on Wednesday in response to a fall in U.S. fuel inventories and a cut in the U.S. government’s forecast for crude output next year which raised hopes that a supply glut is easing. U.S. crude inventories fell by 8.1 million barrels, industry group the American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday, much more than the forecast.
Oil and Natural Gas
Saudis to cut August oil exports to lowest level this year – source
Saudi Arabia will cut crude oil shipments to its customers in August by more than 600,000 barrels per day to balance the rise in domestic consumption during the summer, while staying within its OPEC production commitment, a Saudi industry source said. Crude exports for August will fall to their lowest level this year at around 6.6 million bpd, the source added.
Forget about oil rising above $50 this summer, Barclays says
Oil prices rising back above $50 a barrel this summer? Forget about it, says Barclays’ oil analysts in their latest outlook on the commodity. The U.K.-based bank, in the report out on Tuesday, cut its third-quarter Brent oil forecast to $49 a barrel, down from a previous forecast of $57. For West Texas Intermediate the analysts see prices trading around $47 for the quarter, down from around $55 expected previously.
Agency Report Projects U.S. Natural Gas Exports Will Quadruple This Year
A government report on Tuesday forecast U.S. liquefied natural gas exports will quadruple this year, a projection that could bolster the Trump administration’s promotion of American “energy dominance.”
Utilities and Infrastructure
Advanced Microgrid Solutions raises $34M from utilities, investment firm in Series B funding
California startup Advanced Microgrid Solutions has raised $34 million in a Series B funding round, bringing on board a wide range of investors looking to dip a toe into the distributed energy resource space. AMS officials say the future of energy is distributed, and judging by their investor list, many companies appear to have the same outlook.
Colorado renewable energy company expands in Hawaii
SynTech Bioenergy LLC, a Douglas County-based renewable energy company, has opened its first office in Hawaii. The sales and field service office, located in Honolulu, will support local installations of SynTech Bioenergy’s technology for delivering clean energy through advanced thermal conversion of biomass and other waste materials, the company said.
‘Steel for fuel’: Xcel CEO Ben Fowke on his utility’s move to a renewable-centric grid
By 2021, Xcel expects wind to be its single largest energy resource — and that means big changes to grid operations. Last week, Minnesota regulators approved a portion of Xcel’s wind energy expansion in the upper Midwest — a total investment of 1.55 GW of wind that also includes Iowa and the Dakotas.
Consol Energy Files to Spin Off Coal-Mining Business
Consol Energy Inc. one of the world’s oldest coal miners, said Tuesday its board has approved plans to spin off its coal business, cementing its identity as a natural-gas exploration and production company. Consol Energy said in December it planned to separate itself from the coal business, but the makeover for the Pennsylvania company began earlier this decade amid a boom in domestic natural-gas exploration.
The decline in state GDP of 0.9 percent for the year was not the biggest in the nation, but West Virginia did not have much to lose. And according to U.S. Commerce Department statistics, it was almost entirely due to the decline in mining.
Investors shine spotlight on coal groups over climate change risk
The world’s largest coal mining companies need to show how they will reduce their carbon emissions to meet global climate targets under the Paris accord, according to an investor-backed group led by the Church of England.
Cyber threat to America’s nuclear facilities is real: Rick Perry
The FBI and Department of Homeland Security issued a report alleging hackers are targeting key parts of America’s infrastructure including nuclear power facilities. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry responded to the report, telling the FOX Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo, “Well, obviously it’s real, it’s ongoing and we shouldn’t be surprised.” According to Perry, the government doesn’t know yet if it is state-sponsored or individual cyber criminals.
Experts Think France’s Plans To Close ‘Up To 17 Nuclear Reactors’ By 2025 Won’t End Well
Experts worry France’s plans to replace “up to 17 nuclear reactors” with wind and solar power by 2025 could be extremely costly and make the country vastly more dependent on imported energy. The country invested heavily in nuclear since the 1973 oil crisis with the goal of increasing its energy independence.
An Iceberg the Size of Delaware Just Broke Off a Major Antarctic Ice Shelf
A chunk of floating ice that weighs more than a trillion metric tons broke away from the Antarctic Peninsula, producing one of the largest icebergs ever recorded and providing a glimpse of how the Antarctic ice sheet might ultimately start to fall apart. A crack more than 120 miles long had developed over several years in a floating ice shelf called Larsen C, and scientists who have been monitoring it confirmed on Wednesday that the huge iceberg had finally broken free.
EPA chief wants scientists to debate climate on TV
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is in the early stages of launching a debate about climate change that could air on television – challenging scientists to prove the widespread view that global warming is a serious threat, the head of the agency said. The move comes as the administration of President Donald Trump seeks to roll back a slew of Obama-era regulations limiting carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels, and begins a withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement – a global pact to stem planetary warming through emissions cuts.
EPA to reverse Obama decision to block Alaskan gold mine
The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday took a major step forward on reversing the Obama administration’s restrictions on opening a gold mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska. The EPA released its proposal to remove the 2014 Obama-era plan that blocked the Pebble Mine on the basis of the potential impact it would have on water quality and the number of salmon that indigenous populations rely upon in that part of the state.
Should we change Earth to halt warming? Scientists say maybe
On most days here, a small team of scientists uses a global climate model to explore a scenario that begins 23 years from now. It starts in 2040 after a series of shocks have finally roused the world to take immediate action against the escalating effects of climate change.
A Message from the Center for Western Priorities:
America protects its most iconic land for all time, from the Grand Canyon to Acadia, and from the Statue of Liberty to Zion. But Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is planning to eviscerate America’s treasured national monuments, ignoring the more than 9 out of 10 Americans who’ve told Secretary Zinke: Keep your hands off of American public lands. Visit Monuments to America to learn more.
Opinions, Editorials and Perspectives
Consumers Fare Better With Competitive Electricity Markets
Policymakers across the country are grappling with a stunning transition underway in the United States’s $380 billion electricity sector. Electricity consumption is flat, cleaner energy sources are dramatically increasing market share while nuclear and fossil fuel generation plants struggle to maintain economic viability, and new consumer-empowering technology innovations promise to transform how households and businesses use energy.
Tesla shows us how to think big on renewables, but there’s a long road ahead
Tesla gave the world two glimpses of the future last week. First, the company confirmed its long-awaited Model 3 would hit the market this summer. Yet this was only one half of the renewables story last week.
A Message from the Center for Western Priorities:
By a 9-to-1 margin, Utah residents are telling Interior Secretary Zinke to keep Bears Ears and Grand Staircase–Escalante national monuments. These lands are sacred to tribal nations, enjoyed by outdoor enthusiasts, and critical to local Utah economies. Will he listen to Utahns or just special interests? Visit Monuments to America to learn more.
Management Quality of Coal Mining Companies
This report contains our assessment of the management quality of the world’s 20 largest publicly-listed coal mining companies, a group that includes both diversified miners as well as companies focused on the mining of coal. The results suggest that there is significant variation in how coal mining companies are managing the risks and opportunities presented by climate change.