U.S. Energy Department Unveils ‘Coal FIRST’ Initiative to Bolster Ailing Industry

The U.S. Energy Department is planning to fund competitive research and development of innovative coal generation technologies in the 2019 fiscal year, according to a Nov. 14 announcement. The agency envisions coal plants of the future to be “Flexible, Innovative, Resilient, Small and Transformative” under the new “Coal FIRST” initiative. The move stems from request…

U.S. Energy Department Announces $18 Million for Advanced Nuclear Energy Projects

The U.S. Energy Department selected 11 projects located across six states for cost-shared research and development of advanced nuclear technologies, according to a Nov. 13 press release. The projects, valued at about $25 million, make the third batch of recipients under the department’s advanced nuclear technology funding opportunity. The first round provided $60 million and…

Policy Choices Will Shape Future of Global Energy Sector: IEA’s World Energy Outlook

Under current and planned policies, global energy demand is expected to grow by over 25 percent to 2040, requiring an annual investment of more than $2 trillion in new energy supply, according to the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook published on Nov. 13. The agency said that over 70 percent of global energy investments…

U.S. Power Sector Emissions Drop to Three-Decade Low as Electricity Demand Slows, Energy Mix Evolves: EIA

U.S. electric power sector emissions totaled 1,744 million metric tons in 2017, the lowest since 1987, according to an Oct. 29 report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Energy-related emissions in the power sector fell by 28 percent since 2005 compared to 5 percent in all other energy sectors. The agency attributed the drop in…

Virginia Pollution Control Board Endorses Stricter Power Plant Emissions Rule as State Moves to Join Regional Carbon Market

The Virginia State Air Pollution Control Board on Oct. 30 approved recommendations to revise to regulations governing carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel-fired electric power plants in the state. The Department of Environmental Quality proposed a more stringent base budget of 28 million tons in 2020 resulting in additional emissions reductions of 5 million tons…

Minnesota Regulators Formally Approve Controversial Line 3 Oil Pipeline Project

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on October 26 issued an order approving Enbridge Inc.’s proposed $7-Billion Line 3 replacement project, following a favorable vote in June. The formal ruling, which comes after much deliberation over replacing a 1960s-era line versus limiting environmental risks, opens the door for appealing the decision. Environmental groups like Sierra Club…

U.S. Energy Department Engages Private Sector in Cyber-Attack Exercises to Strengthen Energy Sector Preparedness

The U.S. Energy Department is conducting exercises with the private sector to enhance the energy industry’s ability to withstand cyber attacks in keeping with the National Cybersecurity Awareness Month dedicated to protecting critical infrastructure, according to an Oct. 26 press release. The agency’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response, launched in February, engaged…

Montana Regulator Commends EPA Proposal to Replace Obama-Era Generator Emission Rules

The Montana Public Service Commission voiced support for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “Affordable Clean Energy Rule,” a proposal to replace an Obama-era measure to regulate carbon emissions from power plants, according to an Oct. 26 press release. The commission said it “takes a keen interest” in the proposed rule in view of the state’s…

Court Endorses Connecticut’s Diversion of Clean Energy Program Funds to Fill Budget Gap

The U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut ruled on Oct. 25 that Connecticut’s transfer of ratepayer funds collected for energy conservation programs to the general fund is not illegal. The court said that state law has not promised ratepayers that their money would not be transferred to the general fund for other purposes,…

New York Attorney General Sues ExxonMobil Over Climate Change Misinformation

Exxon Mobil Corp. was the target of a lawsuit by New York’s top legal representative which alleges that oil and gas giant deceived investors over its management of the risks posed to the business by climate change regulation, according to an Oct. 24 filing. The suit further alleges that Exxon assured investors it had adequately…