In the news today…
- The Roanoke Times carries an op-ed by U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith, in which he argues that the Green New Deal fails to address the needs of an effective plan countering climate change and endorses technology and “all of the above” energy policies.
- USA Today carries an op-ed by Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, in which he argues that Sens. Murkowski and Manchin present pragmatic climate solutions that invest in communities.
- Grist reports coal miners are switching over to green energy jobs in southeast Kentucky due to the closure of coal mines in the area.
- Grand Forks Herald reports North Dakota is eligible to receive more than $2.8 million in grant funds as part of a grant package Acting Interior Secretary Bernhardt announced Tuesday for states and tribes to reclaim and repurpose abandoned coal mine lands.
- E&E Greenwire reports the DOI has offered $291.2 million this year as part of its annual mandatory grant program to help clean up former coal mines.
- Politico reports the White House has dropped plans to nominate a veteran lawyer to serve on a key federal energy panel after pressure from Energy Secretary Perry and major coal companies headed by allies of President Donald Trump, two people familiar with the effort told POLITICO.
- S&P Global Market Intelligence reports major U.S. coal producers that bit the bullet early and filed for bankruptcy a few years ago are now enjoying the benefits of improved coal markets and clean balance sheets, but the companies that avoided that first wave of reorganizations now find themselves particularly stressed by declining domestic demand.
- Argus reports coal producer Paringa Resources has received a $56 million loan to accelerate expansion of its Poplar Grove mine in Kentucky.
- MagicValley.com reports Idaho Power Co. is close to eliminating coal from its energy sources with plans to cut ties with its three remaining coal-fired plants.
- Arizona Central reports Peabody Energy laid off about 40 miners, about 12 percent of its mine’s workforce, at the Kayenta mine in Arizona last month in preparation for the mine’s closure later this year.
- Billings Gazette reports labor unions support a Republican bill hoped to save the coal-fired Colstrip Power Plant by allowing a South Dakota utility to buy a bigger stake in it despite opposition from consumer advocates.
- The Associated Press reports the black lung fund is in jeopardy and taxpayers could foot the bill, despite insistence from the Trump administration and industry allies that the fun will continue to pay benefits to sick miners.
- InsideEPA reports EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler is prioritizing water issues over climate change, but the agency’s broad water policy agenda is mired in major Clean Water Act fights over scope and strength of water permits.
- InsideEPA reports environmentalists are urging EPA to abandon its proposal to revise new source performance standards limiting greenhouse gases from new coal plants.
- E&E Greenwire reports former Reps. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) and Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) urged Congress Wednesday to pass a broad infrastructure package. Shuster, who chaired the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and Crowley, who led the House Democratic Caucus, made the pitch to President Trump and Congress at a Bipartisan Policy Center event on infrastructure funding.
- Politico Pro reports Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) is working on an overhaul of the energy bill she has introduced in each of the previous two Congresses, a top committee staffer said at a conference today.
- Washington Examiner reports a new poll out Wednesday from the American Energy Alliance shows that voters may favor pieces of the “Green New Deal,” but in the end the majority doesn’t want to pay for it. Forty-eight percent “oppose” the 2030 fossil fuel mandate, while 44 percent support it.
- E&E Energywire reports people who live near wind turbines almost always prefer them to a hypothetical power plant that uses fossil fuels, according to a new survey carried out by University of Delaware researchers.
- Washington Examiner reports Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), chairman of the Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, issued a framework to address climate change, developed over a year and a half, which would set a target of net-zero emissions by 2050 and an undetermined price on carbon emissions. The plan also includes policies, such as funding research on carbon capture technologies, that have been supported by some Republicans on the committee.
- Axios reports Carbon Engineering has brought in $68 million worth of private equity to commercialize technology that pulls carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, marking the biggest private investment into a company seeking to deploy “direct air capture” systems.