Appalachia caught in the middle of petrochemical hub debate

NOTE TO READERS: Southeast Energy News will be taking a break for Independence Day. We will return on Tuesday, July 7. OIL & GAS: While a new report from the Trump administration suggests the Ohio Valley’s growing petrochemical industry could be an unprecedented source of economic opportunity, a clean energy group’s recent analysis paints a much less rosy picture. (Ohio Valley Resource)

ALSO:
• A Houston energy company that was once among the largest drillers in south Texas emerges from bankruptcy with a new CEO and new name. (Houston Chronicle)
• A bill introduced by Texas and Oklahoma lawmakers would provide tax and regulatory relief for energy companies hit hard by the pandemic.

Virginia emissions, environmental justice bills take effect today

VIRGINIA: Several environmental laws take effect in Virginia today, including one that launches a 21-member environmental justice council and one that authorizes the state to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. (Bloomberg)

WIND: Some lawmakers and other critics say Dominion Energy’s plan to grow offshore wind — which will bring jobs and clean energy — will come at an enormous cost to Virginians because of the utility’s monopoly. (Washington Post)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join Southern Alliance for Clean Energy & Electrify the South for a free virtual Electric Vehicle test drive to see why so many people are going electric. Learn more & register here: https://www.electrifythesouth.org/events.***

SOLAR:
• Two new Florida solar farms are now online that will serve Beaches Energy, a local utility, and can produce enough energy to power 30,000 homes. (WJCT)
• Tampa’s new sustainability and resilience officer says he is looking into buildings downtown that may be suitable for a rooftop solar array.

Virginia offshore wind project now complete, Dominion says

WIND: Both offshore wind turbines are now in place at Dominion Energy’s pilot project off the coast of Virginia Beach, and will undergo testing before starting up later this summer. (Greentech Media)

COAL:
• Coal’s decline — and the resulting lack of jobs and tax revenues — has forced staunchly anti-Obamacare politicians to reconsider Medicaid expansion, while rural communities depend on telehealth. (Energy News Network)
• Kentucky is now home to the largest elk population east of the Mississippi, most of them living and feeding on on abandoned strip mines. (New York Times)
• Eighty local, regional and national organizations roll out a National Economic Transition Platform to support struggling coal mining towns in Appalachia and beyond. (InsideClimate News)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join Southern Alliance for Clean Energy & Electrify the South for a free virtual Electric Vehicle test drive to see why so many people are going electric.

Electric cooperatives consider dropping TVA for cheaper power

UTILITIES: Two electric cooperatives serving customers in Tennessee and Georgia solicit requests for proposals from utilities to find more affordable power than TVA. (Chattanooga Times Free Press) 

COAL:
• After cleaning up pollution, West Virginia communities were banking on tourism to help their economies — then the coronavirus pandemic hit. (Ohio Valley Resource)
• Jacksonville, Florida’s utility plans to retire one unit of a Georgia coal-fired power plant and enter a 20-year power purchase agreement with Florida Power & Light. (Jacksonville Daily Record)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join Southern Alliance for Clean Energy & Electrify the South for a free virtual Electric Vehicle test drive to see why so many people are going electric. Learn more & register here: https://www.electrifythesouth.org/events.***

SOLAR:
• Officials in an Arkansas town unanimously approve a contract for the city and water department to buy power from a solar company.

Louisiana protestors charged with ‘terrorizing’ oil and gas lobbyist

WIND: Students from James Madison University win a collegiate wind energy competition that provides networking and hands-on experience for “the next generation of the wind energy workforce.” (Energy News Network)

OIL & GAS:  Two women who protested construction of a massive plastics and petrochemical complex in Louisiana last year are arrested for “terrorizing” an oil and gas lobbyist and face up to 15 years in prison. (InsideClimate News)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join Southern Alliance for Clean Energy & Electrify the South for a free virtual Electric Vehicle test drive to see why so many people are going electric. Learn more & register here: https://www.electrifythesouth.org/events.***

PIPELINES: Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves signs a law that designates properties with oil and gas equipment as “critical infrastructure,” making trespassing a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison. (Bloomberg)

COAL: Taxpayers could be on the hook for millions of dollars in coal mine cleanup in Appalachia because several key financial instruments meant to guarantee environmental cleanup have been pushed to the brink of insolvency. (DeSmog) 

EMISSIONS: Southern Company says it is considering another carbon capture project in Mississippi at the site of an expensive, failed carbon-free coal plant.