Energy news of the week - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Industrial, Regulation  -  January 21, 2017

Weekend reads: Trump's 1st energy moves; China backs off coal; Tesla cleared in death probe & more

Every Saturday, we'll bring you five most interesting — or quirky; it is the weekend after all — energy stories from the prior week that you may have missed from around the web. Given the Jan. 20 inauguration of President Donald Trump, this weekend's reads center around some of the new administration's first energy-related actions:

Trump Administration Scrubs Mentions of Climate and Renewables From White House Website (Greentech Media): Immediately after Donald Trump assumed the office of president Friday, the presidential URL changed. Where there once was "Energy," now there is "An America First Energy Plan." And where there once was a climate action plan, now there is no mention of it. The social cost of carbon -- gone. The Clean Power Plan -- gone. The vestigial page titles still appear in a Google search, but the links lead nowhere.

Report: DOE target for massive cuts in Trump budget draft (Utility Dive): President-elect Donald Trump will be sworn into office later today, and early reports indicate his team is preparing a series of dramatic cuts that could reduce government spending by more than $10 trillion over a decade. The cuts, reported by The Hill, would reshape the Department of Energy, eliminating divisions focused on electricity, efficiency and renewables, and fossil fuel research. Advanced nuclear and computing funding would also be rolled back to 2008 levels. 

Trump Aides Prepare List of Early Energy Changes (Bloomberg): Soon after Trump took the oath of office, an "America First Energy Plan" posted on the White House website that enshrined many of his campaign pledges as formal policy goals, including a commitment to eliminate "harmful and unnecessary" regulations that throttle domestic development. Explicit targets for repeal include Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which limits carbon emissions from power plants, and a water pollution rule.

China Cancels 103 Coal Plants, Mindful of Smog and Wasted Capacity (The New York Times): China is canceling plans to build more than 100 coal-fired power plants, seeking to rein in runaway, wasteful investment in the sector while moving the country away from one of the dirtiest forms of electricity generation, the government announced in a directive made public this week. The announcement, made by China’s National Energy Administration, cancels 103 projects that were planned or under construction, eliminating 120 gigawatts of future coal-fired capacity.

U.S. regulator finds no evidence of defects after Tesla death probe (Reuters): U.S. auto safety regulators said on Thursday they found no evidence of defects in a Tesla Motors Inc. car involved in the death of a man whose Model S collided with a truck while he was using its Autopilot system. The case has been closely watched as automakers race to automate more driving tasks without exposing themselves to increased liability risks.

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