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Nebraska bills would allow more community solar, tap lottery for funding

A pair of bills now before the Nebraska legislature would provide a new potential funding source for community solar projects, and mandate that utilities allow community solar projects initiated by their customers. LB 610 would explicitly allow the Nebraska Environmental Trust to consider issuing grants to community solar projects. The trust’s funds, coming from a portion of the state’s lottery proceeds, amount to roughly $16 million yearly.

Pipeline leaks 138,600 gallons of diesel in northern Iowa

An investigation is ongoing on how a pipeline leaked 138,600 gallons of diesel fuel in Worth County early Wednesday morning, according to Magellan Midstream Partners L.P., the pipeline company. "It’s a big one — it’s significant," said Jeff Vansteenburg, a field office supervisor for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Appeals court to decide future of California carbon auctions

Businesses looking to invalidate California’s fee for carbon pollution took their arguments to a state appeals court Tuesday in a case that could determine the future of one of California’s signature efforts to combat climate change. With a central piece of Gov. Jerry Brown’s legacy on the line, lawyers for the state and for environmental advocacy groups defended a program that has been closely watched around the world as a potential model for controlling carbon emissions.

US solar power employs more people than oil, coal and gas combined

The latest report from the US Department of Energy (DOE) reveals solar energy accounts for the largest proportion of employers in the Electric Power Generation sector, with wind energy the third largest, while the coal industries have declined in the past 10 years. Solar energy employed 374,000 people over the year 2015-2016, making up 43 per cent of the sector’s workforce, while the traditional fossil fuels combined employed 187,117, making up just 22 per cent of the workforce, according to the report.

California proposes ambitious new climate goals

California formally proposed a 40 percent slash in the state’s greenhouse gas emissions, minutes after President Trump was inaugurated.  The state’s Air Resources Board said that 40 percent cut by 2030, compared with 1990 levels, would be the most ambitious climate goal in North America.

Why coal jobs aren't coming back, despite Trump's actions

President Trump's "America First" energy plan makes clear that the White House is committed to "reviving" the country's long-suffering coal industry.It's part of Trump's effort to live up to his campaign pledge to coal miners, whom he has told: "Get ready, because you're going to be working your asses off."As soon as this week, Trump could back up that campaign talk with real action.

Wyoming proposal would require utilities to use fossil fuels

A group of Wyoming lawmakers is bucking the U.S. trend of supporting renewable energy with a plan to do the opposite: Fine utilities if they provide energy produced by wind or the sun. Blustery Wyoming ranks among the top states for wind-energy potential, but the coal, oil and natural gas industries are the backbone of the state’s economy. With a $360 million budget shortfall in public education caused by downturns in those industries and corresponding state revenue declines, legislators are hard-pressed for solutions.

North Dakota Landowners Sue Over Dakota Access Easements

A group of about two dozen North Dakota landowners is suing the developer of the disputed Dakota Access oil pipeline for alleged deceit and fraud in acquiring land easements. Already, landowners in Iowa await a state judge's ruling in another easement case regarding the $3.8 billion, four-state pipeline. Other court battles are playing out in federal court in North Dakota and Washington, D.C. The Morton County landowners in the lawsuit, filed this month in U.S.

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