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Energy

Three big wins for solar energy in Illinois

All three bills passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly and now await the Governor’s signature.  Each bill, in its own unique way, is important to successful solar energy development in Illinois.  SB 3214 (Solar Pollinators) – ELPC drafted this legislation after reviewing similar efforts in Minnesota and Maryland.  SB 3214 will lead to increased pollinator-friendly habitat on solar energy project sites in Illinois.

In Colorado, a Fracking Boom and a Population Explosion Collide

A new oil rig will rise behind a middle school in this sprawling county in the coming months, its slender tower bearing an announcement: fracking is back. After a downturn that began in 2015, oil and gas production is booming again, and new projects are sprouting along American freeways and padding government budgets, cheered by state legislatures, the fossil fuel industry and the Trump administration.

Ruling provides new rationale for blocking Oregon solar project

The Oregon Court of Appeals has provided a new legal rationale for why an 80-acre solar power project on farmland in Jackson County was improperly approved. Last year, the county government granted Origis Energy, the project’s developer, an exception to Oregon’s land use goal of preserving farmland, but the decision was reversed by the state’s Land Use Board of Appeals. According to LUBA, the solar project didn’t qualify for the exception because it’s not dependent on a “unique resource” that would require converting farmland for industrial development.

Dineen says ethanol compromise would be the worst

The head of the Renewable Fuels Association says a potential “compromise” between big oil and renewable fuels on the renewable fuels program will NOT be good for the U.S. biofuels industry. Bob Dinneen tells Brownfield Ag News, “The so-called compromise that we hear is coming from the White House shortly, perhaps today, maybe later this week, is anything but a compromise. In fact, I would maintain it’s the worst of all possible worlds.” The expected deal would allow exported gallons of biofuels to qualify for the domestic fuel requirement, the RFS.

Ethanol critical piece of America's energy strategy

The conflict over the Renewable Fuel Standard between the EPA, Congress and special interest groups have left hardworking people throughout rural America with a growing sense of uncertainty about their futures. An honest discussion about this program is long overdue. In order to do that, it’s necessary to understand where the RFS began, how it evolved and the role it plays in ensuring American prosperity and security. For decades, refiners have used octane enhancers. Lead was the most common but was replaced in the late 1970s by an organic compound called Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE).

Canada to buy major pipeline to ensure it gets built

Canada’s federal government said Tuesday it is buying a controversial pipeline from the Alberta oil sands to the Pacific Coast to ensure it gets built. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government plans to spend $3.4 billion to purchase Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline. The pipeline expansion would triple the capacity of an existing line to ship oil extracted from the oil sands in Alberta across the snow-capped peaks of the Canadian Rockies.

Natural gas could soon surpass coal as U.S. electricity generator

By the end of 2018, natural gas could surpass coal to become the most prevalent technology for generating electricity in the United States, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration .  The agency said fossil fuel consumption in the electric power sector declined in 2017 to its the lowest level since 1994. “The declining trend in fossil fuel consumption by the power sector has been driven by a decrease in the use of coal and petroleum, with a slightly offsetting increase in the use of natural gas,” the EIA said.

Electric power sector consumption of fossil fuels at lowest level since 1994

Fossil fuel consumption in the electric power sector declined to 22.5 quadrillion British thermal units (quads) in 2017, the lowest level since 1994. The declining trend in fossil fuel consumption by the power sector has been driven by a decrease in the use of coal and petroleum with a slightly offsetting increase in the use of natural gas. Changes in the fuel mix and improvements in electricity generating technology have also led the power sector to produce electricity while consuming fewer fossil fuels.

Ethanol, farm groups sue EPA over refineries' biofuels exemptions

A coalition of ethanol and farm groups sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday, challenging its decision to free three refineries, including one owned by billionaire investor Carl Icahn, from annual biofuels requirements. The groups, including the Renewable Fuels Association and the National Corn Growers Association, filed the challenge in a U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver, according to a statement from the coalition.

10 massive corporations going big on solar power

American businesses are investing record amounts in solar, with the top corporate users adding 325 megawatts (MW) of installed capacity last year, according to the "Solar Means Business 2017" report from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). The impact of corporate solar is significant: the solar installations analyzed in the SEIA report produce enough electricity to power 402,000 U.S. homes and offset 2.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year.Here, CNBC's Sustainable Energy looks at the top 10 corporations in the U.S. by their installed capacity of solar power. 10.

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