Draft White House memo would speed up infrastructure project permitting
Andrew Restuccia, Politico
The White House is circulating a draft memo to more than a dozen federal agencies that would dramatically speed up the time it takes to secure environmental permits for infrastructure projects, according to a document obtained by POLITICO.
Trump’s Infrastructure Plan: Modest Federal Incentives, Facing Long Odds
Julie Hirschfeld Davis, The New York Times
President Trump on Monday will propose offering $100 billion in federal incentives to encourage cities and states to invest in road, bridge and other building projects, the centerpiece of a plan to spur $1.5 trillion in infrastructure spending over the next decade without devoting significant federal money.
First-class travel distinguishes Scott Pruitt’s EPA tenure
Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis, The Washington Post
Just days after helping orchestrate the United States’ exit from a global climate accord last June, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt embarked on a whirlwind tour aimed at championing President Trump’s agenda at home and abroad. On Monday, June 5, accompanied by his personal security detail, Pruitt settled into his $1,641.43 first-class seat for a short flight from the District to New York City.
Oil’s Bounce From Worst Week in Two Years Capped by Shale Fears
Heesu Lee and Grant Smith, Bloomberg
While oil is rebounding from its biggest weekly decline in two years, a surge in U.S. shale still looms over the market.
Oil and Natural Gas
OPEC Revises Crude Supply Forecasts on Higher U.S. Production
Christopher Alessi, The Wall Street Journal
Booming U.S. shale production forced the OPEC oil cartel to revise upwards its crude supply forecasts for this year, even as it said strengthening global demand would continue to help eat up the excess supply.
Drillers turn to big data in the hunt for more, cheaper oil
Ed Crooks, Financial Times
Under pressure from renewables, energy groups are again looking to tech for answers.
Big Oil takes stage for post-austerity beauty contest
Ron Bousso, Reuters
With years of austerity in their rear-view mirrors, the world’s biggest oil companies are locked in a beauty contest to lure investors with promises of growth and greater rewards.
Total chief told Trump to stick with Iran nuclear deal
David Keohane and Andrew Ward, Financial Times
The chief executive of French oil company Total has urged Donald Trump to keep faith with the Iran nuclear deal and told the US president that oil and gas investment would help Iranian reformers in their struggle against hardliners in Tehran.
Utilities and Infrastructure
Parts of Puerto Rico hit with blackout after explosion at power station
Brett Samuels, The Hill
An explosion at a power station in Puerto Rico left the northern part of the island and portions of San Juan without power Sunday night, according the island’s power authority.
Utilities continue to increase spending on transmission infrastructure
Energy Information Administration
Spending on infrastructure to deliver power to homes and businesses has increased steadily over the past 10 years as utilities build, upgrade, and replace station equipment, poles, fixtures, and overhead lines and devices. Based on information compiled from utility reports to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)—filed by utilities representing about 70% of total U.S. electric load—those utilities spent about $21 billion on capital additions in 2016.
Arenko Taps GE for 41-Megawatt UK Battery Project
Jason Deign, Greentech Media
GE has entered the grid battery big leagues after being selected to provide a 41-megawatt plant in the U.K. The deal is part of a new strategic partnership with Arenko, a British energy infrastructure developer.
TVA plots new future with stagnant or declining demand for power
Dave Flessner, Chattanooga Times Free Press
January brought the coldest streak of weather in the Tennessee Valley in a decade, setting three of the top 12 all-time winter peaks for TVA and the biggest one-day consumption of electricity in TVA’s 85-year history. But last month’s weather-induced boost in power consumption probably won’t last.
Bitcoin Mania Triggers Miner Influx to Rural Washington
Alison Sider, The Wall Street Journal
Small towns confront surge in power demand as firms that generate new cryptocurrency units ask to set up shop.
Inside America’s first solar-powered town – but is it a vision of the future?
David Millward, The Telegraph
By his own admission, Syd Kitson’s 50-game American football career was a modest one. But while sporting fame eluded him, Mr Kitson has made his mark by creating America’s first solar-powered town, Babcock Ranch in Florida, about 170 miles north west of Miami.
Ford Will Pump Out More Profitable Big SUVs to Fund Its Future
Keith Naughton and Jamie Butters, Bloomberg
Ford Motor Co. is spending $25 million more at its Kentucky factory to pump out more of the profitable big sport utility vehicles that are critical to funding its ambitious — and expensive — electric and self-driving vehicle plans.
A Farm Town’s Electric Dreams Threatened With Chinese Billionaire’s Fortune
Blake Schmidt and David Ramli, Bloomberg
Jia Yueting promised to take on Elon Musk with his Faraday electric-car factory in California. Then his business empire crashed.
There’s a Global Race to Control Batteries—and China Is Winning
Scott Patterson and Russell Gold, The Wall Street Journal
Miners push bicycles piled high with bags of a grayish-blue ore along a dusty road to a makeshift market. There, they line up at wholesalers with nicknames such as Crazy Jack and Boss Lee.
In a Change of Mind, China to Retain Local EV Subsidies
China’s government is leaning toward allowing provinces continue with local subsidies for electric vehicles to sustain the rising demand for new-energy automobiles in the country, according to people familiar with the matter.
Vietnam Pulls Request for U.S. Help to Build a Coal-Fired Power Plant
Mike Ives, The New York Times
A Vietnamese company is no longer seeking American financial support to build a coal-fired power plant in Vietnam, bringing to an abrupt end a closely watched test of whether Washington would back international projects that could potentially contribute to climate change.
In China’s Coal Country, a Ban Brings Blue Skies and Cold Homes
Steven Lee Myers, The New York Times
A monument to China’s efforts to wean itself from coal rises on the outskirts of this village deep in the heart of the nation’s coal country. Scores of old coal stoves have been dumped in a lot, removed by government decree in recent months in favor of cleaner-burning natural gas furnaces.
Nuclear power, research bills set for votes
Christa Marshall, E&E News
The House this week is scheduled to vote on legislation that would boost advanced nuclear power and support research facilities at national laboratories.
Trump’s Infrastructure Plan May Ignore Climate Change. It Could Be Costly.
Coral Davenport, The New York Times
President Trump wants to spend $1.5 trillion on rebuilding roads and bridges, but experts say failing to account for climate change will add to costs.
Opinions, Editorials and Perspectives
The left’s civil war over climate change
Amy Harder, Axios
America’s Democratic Party, environmental groups and clean-energy leaders pushing action on climate change are at odds over how best to address it.
OPEC’s Oil Price Nightmare Is Coming True
Julian Lee, Bloomberg
The latest surge in U.S. oil output will probably hasten the country’s rise to the top of the producer pile. More important, it’s starting to look as though at least half of OPEC’s nightmare scenario for 2018 — a surge in shale output and slowdown in demand growth — is coming true.
Cheap Solar Makes a Big Bet in Nevada
Nathaniel Bullard, Bloomberg
Two recent energy deals highlight innovations in technology, business and marketing.
Effects of a $0.25 Federal Gas Tax Increase on U.S. Economy, Fuel Use, Fleet Composition
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s proposal to raise the United States federal fuel user fee (aka gas tax) $0.25 per gallon has driven contentious debate over the future of U.S. transportation funding. The Chamber’s proposal would increase the current $0.18 per gallon gasoline tax five cents per year.
Mangroves protect coastlines, store carbon – and are expanding with climate change
Samantha Chapman, The Conversation
With the help of technology, humans can traverse virtually every part of our planet’s surface. But animals and plants are less mobile. Most species can only live in zones where temperature and rain fall within specific ranges.