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Energy

Minnesota Department Of Commerce Says Enbridge Insurance Coverage Is Lacking

The Minnesota Department of Commerce says energy firm Enbridge does not have adequate insurance to protect the public from damages related to crude oil spills. Some critics, including one Wisconsin environmental group, argue that puts taxpayers on the hook to pay for cleanup of any accidents on the company’s pipelines. The Minnesota Department of Commerce is reviewing Enbridge’s policies to make sure the company is meeting conditions for building its $2.9 billion Line 3 replacement project that runs through Minnesota to the company’s terminal in Superior.

Dire Climate Change Warnings Cut From Trump Power-Plant Proposal

Warnings about potentially severe consequences of climate change were deleted from a Trump administration plan to weaken curbs on power plant emissions during a White House review. Drafts had devoted more than 500 words to highlighting the impacts -- more heat waves, intense hurricanes, heavy rainfalls, floods and water pollution -- as part of the proposal to replace Obama-era restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions.

California passes landmark 100% clean energy goal

The California Senate on Wednesday passed legislation that would set the state on a path to eliminate carbon emissions from its electricity generation, after the state Assembly approved it on Tuesday. S.B. 100 would set a state goal to supply 100% of retail electricity sales from carbon-free resources by 2045 and direct state agencies to begin planning for the target.

TVA shifts coal ash strategy in response to spill, Obama-era rule

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) said it will alter its management of coal ash at a Kentucky coal plant in response to an Obama-era regulation under threat by the Trump administration.The utility will close two unlined coal ash storage units at its Shawnee Fossil Plant, removing water from the waste project, and capping the remaining contents in place, according to a final supplemental Environmental Impact Statement released on Friday.

Trump's EPA unveils weaker alternative to Obama power plant rule

The Trump administration proposed replacing a signature Obama-era policy to combat climate change with a weaker plan that would let states write their own rules on coal-fired power plants, prompting critics to warn of dire environmental and health consequences. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposal would require states to submit plans for improving efficiency of coal-fired power plants.

Seeking Certainty in Biofuels, But Finding Little

Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler dropped into Iowa this week. Wheeler talked about "certainty" but offered none. Based on the news reports from the Des Moines Register and Cedar Rapids Gazette, Wheeler didn't say EPA was going to back off on small-refinery exemptions, and he said the agency is stilling "looking into" the possibility of E15 year-round. There were still no answers about the biofuel demand lost from EPA's small-refinery exemptions, only Wheeler pointing out the need for more transparency.

Modernizing renewables mandates is no longer about the megawatts

Mandate innovations should no longer be limited to megawatts of wind and solar. State mandates, called renewable portfolio standards (RPS), set a standard for the renewable MWs that state load serving entities (LSE) must have in their portfolios by a specified date. RPSs, mandated in D.C. and 29 states, are at least partially responsible for 56% of the 120 GW of renewables built since 2000, according to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

EPA analysis of its own new climate proposal: thousands of people will die

The Environmental Protection Agency has released the details of its plan to replace President Obama’s signature climate change policy, the Clean Power Plan, and it’s pretty much what we expected: a tepid pledge to fight climate change that’s actually a coal bailout.For the new proposal to stand, it has to be just as good as or better than the one it replaces in order to comply with the law. But it’s much weaker than the rule it’s replacing, so the EPA is arguing for a cost-benefit calculation that justifies a relaxed standard.

States greet Trump's new coal rules with lawsuit threats

States with a history of fighting air pollution generated by coal-fired power plants criticized a move by President Donald Trump's administration to scale back federal restrictions on emissions, with some threatening court challenges. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan was among those who pledged to "take legal action to ensure the federal government does its job" to protect the environment and people's health.

New Illinois law requires gas-leak notification for water protection

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed a law requiring owners of gas storage fields to notify local officials if a natural gas leak threatens drinking water supplies. The law is designed to protect the Mahomet Aquifer in east-central Illinois. It is the area's primary water source. It provides drinking water for more than 500,000 residents.The measure sponsored by Mahomet Republican Sen. Chapin Rose also requires annual storage-field inspections by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

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