Daily digest

Virginia amendment aims to block ‘double dipping’ by Dominion Energy

LEGISLATION: An amendment to Virginia’s major utility regulation reform bill seeks to block Dominion Energy from charging customers twice for billions of dollars in spending on grid upgrades and renewable energy projects.  (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

MORE: A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers, including Democrats from coal-producing states, extended tax breaks for carbon capture and storage technologies in the country’s budget that was passed Friday. (EcoWatch)

EFFICIENCY: It is unclear why a proposed update to Virginia’s residential building code is in administrative limbo following a consensus from homebuilders and energy efficiency advocates. (Southeast Energy News)

UTILITIES:
• The Trump administration’s infrastructure plan advocates selling off several large electric transmission systems the federal government owns, including the Tennessee Valley Authority.  (Electric Light & Power)
• Former U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz has been appointed to Southern Company’s board of directors. (press release)
• Former Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers goes off the grid. (E&E News, registration)

NUCLEAR:
• Some South Carolina lawmakers think state officials need more time to review SCANA’s handling of the now-failed Summer nuclear project and Dominion Energy’s proposed buyout. (Post and Courier)
• Environmental groups file a lawsuit claiming Georgia regulators didn’t follow their own rules when they decided to continue construction at the long-delayed, significantly over-budget Vogtle nuclear plant project. (WABE)

SOLAR:
• Utility companies across the country, including in Florida, are increasing their reliance on solar energy and batteries, which, together, may edge out natural gas in power markets. (Bloomberg)
• Four Virginia electric co-ops petition to start a community solar pilot program to build two facilities from which members could subscribe power. (pv magazine)
• Florida Power & Light is using a new storage system that will increase by more than half a million kWh per year the amount of the solar energy delivered to the grid. (Solar Industry)
• The solar rooftop debate is renewed in Louisiana. (E&E News, registration)

NATURAL GAS: Federal regulators order a partial shutdown at Cheniere Energy’s liquefied natural gas export terminal in Louisiana after multiple storage tanks leaks were discovered. (E&E News)

OIL: The Coast Guard says no more than 100 gallons of oil spilled into the Mississippi River in Louisiana on Sunday, which is less than earlier estimates. (WBRZ)

COMMENTARY:
• The amendment by the Virginia House to a utility companies’-backed overhaul bill is “a serious check on the monopolies’ power mere days after their colleagues in the Senate decided to give them a blank check.” (Huffington Post)
• Democrats who fashion themselves as anti-monopoly can learn from lawmakers in Virginia who are standing up to Dominion Energy’s political influence. (Huffington Post)
• Natural gas is necessary to drive down costs for low-income Virginians, and to provide cheap energy to drive our economy and create jobs, says a guest columnist and former energy CEO. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
•  Offshore drilling should not be an issue just for coastal communities and South Carolina should come together to oppose the Trump administration’s proposed expansion. (Aiken Standard)

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