Southeast Energy News

Actors were paid to support Louisiana gas plant at meetings

POWER PLANTS: Entergy denies a report by The Lens that local actors were paid to attend New Orleans City Council meetings last fall and support a natural gas-fired power plant proposal. (Times-Picayune, The Lens)   

ALSO:
• The Tennessee Valley Authority has phased out more than half of its 59 coal-fired units without any major rate increase. (Times Free Press)
• The Sierra Club credits the declining use of coal-fired power plants for improved air quality in Arkansas. (Democrat Gazette)
• Arkansas regulators and others file comments in response to the U.S. EPA’s proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan. (Arkansas Online)

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SOLAR:
• Residents of a South Carolina county voice concerns about the potential impact on land values, wildlife habitat, and “rural character” from large, utility-scale solar projects. (Post and Courier)  
• Dominion Energy latest long-range resource plan proposes to ramp up solar, but critics say it exaggerates load forecasts. (The Free Lance-Star)
• A dozen municipal utilities in Central Florida announce an agreement to back three solar projects that will include 900,000 panels. (Orlando Sentinel)
• The University of Virginia completes designs for the school’s first solar car since 2001 after relaunching the program in 2015. (WVIR)
• West Virginia residents attend the state’s third annual Solar Congress. (WTOV)

NUCLEAR: A lawsuit filed against SCANA by investors says a utility official repeatedly expressed doubts that the Summer nuclear project could be finished on time. (Post and Courier)

OIL & GAS: At a conference, oil industry advocates say a bill allowing drilling beneath land without owners’ consent is “a true idea of compromise and negotiation.” (Herald-Dispatch)

PIPELINES: Two Virginia women end a tree-sitting protest against the Mountain Valley Pipeline after a court order. (Associated Press)

OVERSIGHT: A new advisory panel in North Carolina will provide social justice guidance on energy siting decisions. (Coastal Review Online)

COAL:
• Advocates say a bill allowing Tennessee to take over its coal permitting and inspections from the federal government is “a terrible decision.” (Times Free Press)
• Families of the victims of a 1968 West Virginia mining disaster seek to reopen a lawsuit this week because they say the cause of the incident was concealed for decades. (Associated Press)

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CLIMATE:
• Five Florida communities could experience recurring tidal flooding due to climate change by 2035, according to a new study. (News Herald)
• Climate change is allowing bull sharks to move north, with numbers increasing off the coast of North Carolina. (TC Palm)
• St. Gabriel Mayor Lionel Johnson wants the Louisiana city to pledge to perform “our little part in climate action.” (The Advocate)

COMMENTARY:
• The owner of an Atlanta architecture firm says the planned expansion of the Vogtle nuclear plant makes no business sense. (Saporta Report)
• The president of the Natural Resources Defense Council says offshore drilling comes with too many risks for Virginia. (Virginia Pilot)

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