Energy news in brief

** The U.S. Air Force is distributing bottled water to Arizona residents and business owners near Luke Air Force Base whose drinking water showed high levels of contaminants. A statement by the base said water testing detected levels of perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorooctane sulfonate “above the Environmental Protection Agency’s lifetime health advisory for drinking water.”

** Exxon Mobil Corp. erased almost every drop of oil-sands crude from its books in a sweeping revision of worldwide reserves to depths never before seen in the company’s modern history. Exxon counted the equivalent of 15.2 billion barrels of reserves as of Dec. 31, down from 22.44 billion a year earlier, according to a regulatory filing on Wednesday.

** Xcel Energy announces a plan to cut its Colorado emissions 85% by 2030, retire all of its coal plants by 2040, and add 5,500 MW of wind, solar and storage to the grid. An Xcel official acknowledges that keeping natural gas generation online will be key to the utility’s plan.

** A group representing 80,000 California wildfire victims is suing former PG&E executives and board members for negligence.

** Arizona’s House approves a bill to remove state regulators’ power to require utilities to use renewable energy; the state Senate has yet to take up the issue.

** Sixteen Texas mayors demand a “full public airing” of the events that led to massive power outages, and action to prevent a recurrence in the future.

** Former SCANA Corp. Chief Executive Officer Kevin Marsh will spend at least two years in prison and pay back at least $5 million for defrauding electric ratepayers in South Carolina’s $9 billion nuclear power fiasco, according to a plea deal that was presented to a federal judge Feb. 24. reported the Post and Courier.

** A federal judge orders bankrupt coal operator Blackjewel to clean up a Kentucky mine where overfull ponds of iron and manganese threaten local drinking water.

** The Appalachian Trail Conservancy declines to release details of its agreement with the Mountain Valley Pipeline, which includes nearly $20 million from the pipeline for conservation and recreation.

** Three environmental groups threaten to sue Ameren over alleged Clean Water Act violations involving coal ash discharges from a coal plant north of St. Louis. 

** Foxconn is considering building or designing electric vehicles at its planned factory in eastern Wisconsin as it partners with a California company to produce more than 250,000 vehicles a year. 

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