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Maine retiree fueling governor’s questions about ethanol

A retired mechanic from South Berwick who believes ethanol in gas may be to blame for Maine’s opioid crisis was a driving force behind Gov. Paul LePage’s decision to study the corn-derived gasoline additive. The mechanic, Ralph Stevens, 77, said in an interview that he believes emissions from the additive have prompted the state’s ongoing drug crisis and may be responsible for a host of other health problems. State Rep. Beth O’Connor, R-Berwick, seized on Stevens’ concerns, and has worked with him to study the issue for over six years.

Oil Rally Threatened as Gasoline Supply Surge Swamps U.S. Demand

Refineries across the nation are operating full-out and imports are pouring into the East Coast, boosting gasoline supplies to a record. At the same time, consumption has turned out to be less robust than thought. That’s weighed on prices, threatening to stem oil’s rebound from a 12-year low. The Energy Information Administration said in a monthly report on June 30 that demand in April was 9.21 million barrels a day, down from 9.49 million seen in weekly data.

Study shows California thriving with clean technology

California is getting cleaner while also growing its economy dramatically, according to findings in a new study.  The eighth annual California Green Innovation Index shows the state has grown its economy, as measured by gross domestic product, while being less carbon intensive.

Senators urge 'strong' RFS for 2017

A bipartisan group of 39 senators is calling on the EPA to produce a strong Renewable Fuel Standard when it releases its final rule setting 2017 blending requirements for ethanol and other biofuels later this year. In a letter to EPA chief Gina McCarthy, the senators, led by Republican Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Democrat Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, said the final rule should support U.S. jobs, reduce the environmental impact on the transportation and energy sectors and reduce dependence on foreign oil.

Court rejects greens’ challenges to natural gas exports

A federal appeals court rejected environmentalists’ challenges to two liquefied natural gas export projects.  The Sierra Club and its allies faulted the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) decisions to approve projects in Texas and Louisiana. They said FERC’s environmental reviews failed to account for the impacts of increased natural gas drilling and the cumulative impacts of multiple natural gas export facilities. But the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit disagreed, saying FERC’s environmental reviews didn’t have to account for those factors.

TransCanada formally seeks NAFTA damages in Keystone XL rejection

TransCanada Corp is formally requesting arbitration over U.S. President Barack Obama's rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline, seeking $15 billion in damages.  TransCanada submitted a notice for an arbitration claim in January and had then tried to negotiate with the U.S. government to "reach an amicable settlement," the company said in files posted on the pipeline's website.

Rhode Island: Renewable energy gets a boost in Assembly session

 As the General Assembly session wound down this month, the discussion around state energy issues focused on two controversial proposals.  The first — legislation aimed at blocking a plan for a large fossil fuel-burning power plant in Burrillville — was killed by the Senate Committee on Judiciary, but only after it won broad support in the House of Representatives.  The second — a provision inserted into the House budget bill that would have shifted some interconnection costs for renewable energy projects from private developers to electric ratepayers — was removed after a group of legislat

Washington Governor Asks Union Pacific To Halt Oil Trains

ov. Jay Inslee asked the Union Pacific Railroad on Friday to halt oil train shipments through Washington until the company does more walking inspections of its railroad track. Inslee joins Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, who has repeatedly called for a moratorium on oil train traffic.

State will appeal ruling against Minnesota's clean energy law

Minnesota will appeal a federal appellate court’s decision last week that Minnesota’s 2007 clean energy law illegally regulates out-of-state utilities.  Gov. Mark Dayton announced the appeal of a decision by a three-judge panel of the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The state is asking for a “rehearing.” Usually, that would entail an “en banc” review by the entire Eighth Circuit bench, which has more than 12 judges. Such court petitions aren’t easy to get accepted.

Oakland council votes to block coal-shipping plan

The Oakland City Council voted unanimously Monday to block the handling and storage of coal in Oakland, effectively halting a developer’s controversial plan to ship coal from the port. The new ordinance, which requires a second vote to be made final, would thwart Oakland developer Phil Tagami’s plan to export coal from a terminal near the east end of the Bay Bridge.


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