In the news today…
- E&E Energywire reports a series of coal-reliant states and communities are stepping up to try to save the plants and mines that have long powered their economies.
- Utility Dive reports statements from a former EPA official that the Trump administration’s shift away from enforcing air quality standards for major stationary sources will allow coal plants and other facilities to emit more harmful pollution.
- Argus reports the Wyoming Legislature approved legislation designed to encourage generators to sell coal-fired power plants rather than close them.
- The Charleston Gazette-Mail and Argus report the West Virginia House of Delegates Wednesday passed a bill that would reduce the severance tax on thermal coal by 2 percentage points over the next two years.
- FOX56 carries a piece that looks at the lasting effects from the decline of coal mining in local communities, and how a new mine and new funding opportunities could give this rust belt region a coal comeback.
- The Star Tribune reports about 25 percent of the region’s energy was unavailable during the polar vortex, including coal plant malfunctions.
- S&P Global Platts reports PJM Interconnection power generation retirements are expected to reach nearly 4,200 MW this year, mostly from coal-fired generation, while more than 15,000 MW is planned to be added to the footprint, mostly from natural gas-fired generation, according to grid operator data.
- The State reports a special legislative committee studying whether to sell Santee Cooper was divided Wednesday over how to move forward with a handful of offers to buy the debt-laden, state-owned utility.
- Politico Pro reports Senate lawmakers Wednesday advanced the nomination of Andrew Wheeler to be administrator of the EPA by a 52-46 vote, setting up final confirmation by Thursday.
Green New Deal:
- The Register Herald carries an op-ed from Rep. Carol Miller (R-WV 3rd District), in which she writes that the Green New Deal would have serious consequences to the energy industry in West Virginia. She adds that it is important to remember that today coal is clean, affordable, dependable and allows our country to be self-reliant.
- E&E News PM reports a memo dated yesterday, the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Council on Environmental Quality provided recommendations for state agencies reviewing infrastructure projects under NEPA.