Weekend reads: A federal energy bill; 'clean coal' plant killed; - Smart Energy Decisions

GHG Emissions, Regulation, Regulation, Wind  -  July 1, 2017

Weekend reads: A federal energy bill; Southern kills 'clean coal' plant; world's largest wind farm & more

Every Saturday, we'll bring you five of the most interesting — or quirky; it is the weekend after all — energy stories from around the web that you may have missed this week. Here are your holiday weekend reads:

Senators introduce new bipartisan energy bill (The Hill): The leading senators overseeing energy policy introduced a new version of their broad energy reform bill Thursday. The legislation from Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and ranking member Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) has few changes from a bill the upper chamber passed last year. The bill, dubbed the Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017, has a wide variety of provisions, centered on energy efficiency, infrastructure and cybersecurity, as well as federal land management and sportsmen's access.

Southern Co. hits off switch on 'clean coal' experiment (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution): Southern Company is suspending efforts to get a troubled Mississippi plant running properly that had been touted as the future for "clean coal" power plants. The Atlanta utility company said Wednesday it is "immediately suspending start-up and operations activities" for the coal gasification unit at its Mississippi Power subsidiary's Kemper plant.

Trump's Plans for a Nuclear Revival Will Begin With a Study (Bloomberg): President Donald Trump has a plan to help the aging fleet of U.S. nuclear reactors estimated to be losing nearly $3 billion a year: study the issue. At the culmination of the White House "Energy Week," Trump is set to announce a comprehensive review of U.S. nuclear regulation, stopping short -- for now -- of the big federal interventions advocates say are needed to revitalize the industry, which is struggling to compete against cheap natural gas and dispose of its radioactive waste.

World's Largest Wind Turbine Would Be Taller Than the Empire State Building (Scientific American): Wind energy is soaring in the U.S.; the nation's renewable energy capacity has more than tripled in the past nine years, and wind and solar power are largely responsible. Now businesses want to harness even more wind energy, at a cheaper price—and one of the best ways to lower cost is to build bigger turbines. That's why an alliance of six institutions led by researchers at the University of Virginia are designing the world's largest wind turbine at 500 meters tall—almost a third of a mile high, and about 57 meters taller than the Empire State Building.

Investors slowly start to push climate change up their agenda (Reuters): Investors are slowly starting to push companies to reduce their carbon footprint and help the world meet targets on limiting global warming that were agreed in the 2015 Paris climate talks. Energy firms have faced shareholder demands to do more to curb carbon emissions, while some pension funds are demanding more commitment to climate goals from firms they invest in.

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