Energy – SciPol Weekly, January 6 – January 12

Government

Greentech Media – FERC Rejects Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s Coal and Nuclear Energy Market Bailout Plan

Federal regulators have rejected Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s plan to rewrite energy market regulations that would favor the coal industry in the name of grid reliability, delivering a stark rebuke to what has largely been seen as an effort to reward the coal industry at the expense of ratepayers and the environment. 

The Morning Call – Amid public outcry, federal agency to review pipeline approval process

As PennEast Pipeline awaits the OK to build a 120-mile natural gas pipeline that would wind through Northampton County, the federal agency charged with oversight is embarking on a top-down review of its approval process.

The New York Times – Trump Moves to Open Nearly All Offshore Waters to Drilling

The Trump administration said Thursday it would allow new offshore oil and gas drilling in nearly all United States coastal waters, giving energy companies access to leases off California for the first time in decades and opening more than a billion acres in the Arctic and along the Eastern Seaboard.

The Hill – Florida decision puts Trump drilling plan on shaky ground

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke may have put the Trump administration on shaky legal ground by agreeing to remove Florida’s waters from consideration for offshore drilling. Zinke announced his decision Tuesday, minutes after meeting with Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) at Tallahassee’s airport. Florida would be removed from consideration for drilling, Zinke said, due to the importance of tourism to the state. 

Utility Dive – Winter storm to test Northeast grid as FERC tees up decision on DOE grid rule

Frigid conditions in the Northeast U.S. are stepping up demands on the power grid as federal regulators prepare to act on a controversial coal and nuclear subsidy rule from the Trump administration.

Industry 

The Guardian – China on track to lead in renewables as US retreats, report says

China is moving towards becoming a global leader in renewable technology as the US pulls away, a new report has said. China is the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases and still invests in coal but in recent years it has become the largest investor in domestic renewable energy. The country is now on track to lead international investment in the sector.

UPI – About half of new U.S. power came from renewables last year

About half of the new utility-scale power on the U.S. grid last year came from renewables and most of that was in the fourth quarter, the government said. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said its data combing so far shows 25 gigawatts of new electricity was added to the grid last year, with about half of that coming from renewable energy resources like wind and solar.

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