Daily digest

Advocates ‘speechless’ at firing of West Virginia environmental official

UTILITIES: A company that offers 100% renewable electricity to customers has a case before Virginia regulators seeking to enter that state’s market. (Southeast Energy News)

• President Trump appoints a former utility lobbyist to oversee environmental enforcement. (The Intercept)
• The head of West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection, a longtime coal industry consultant, fires the state’s environmental advocate. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• The new chair of the Tennessee Valley Authority hopes the utility continues its path toward carbon reduction even after Trump appoints a new board. (Associated Press)

CLIMATE: While the Trump Administration downplays climate change, states like Louisiana still have to deal with the impact. (Bloomberg)

• A shakeup at FERC could mean delays for major pipeline projects. (WLRN)
• A West Virginia couple is at the center of a lawsuit over whether companies can survey for pipelines without landowner permission. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

• A Florida solar installer plans to expand into South Carolina. (WMBF)
• Virginia’s governor says solar development is “building both the new Virginia economy and a better future for our children.” (Augusta Free Press)
• A Mississippi utility will have 105 MW of solar online by this spring. (Hattiesburg American)

VIRGINIA: A summary of renewable energy bills under consideration in the Virginia legislature. (Power for the People VA)

OIL AND GAS: A trade publication predicts a rebound in oil and gas activity in the Gulf of Mexico this year. (The Advocate)

• An updated tally finds West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice owes $4.6 million in unpaid safety fines and penalties. (Associated Press)
• In West Virginia, more than $4.5 billion worth of cleanup work remains at sites abandoned by coal companies. (Associated Press)
• Why a Mississippi “clean coal” plant could be the last of its kind if President Trump follows through with plans to gut climate policy. (Bloomberg)
• Kentucky sees its first mining fatality of 2017. (Lexington Herald-Leader)
• Utility officials in Arkansas say it’s unlikely coal will make a comeback. (Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette)

COAL ASH: A trial begins today over claims ash from a Tennessee coal plant polluted the Cumberland River. (Associated Press)

HYDRO: A Virginia lawmaker is optimistic about the chances for his bill that would encourage development of pumped hydro storage for clean energy. (Kingsport Times-News)

NUCLEAR: The University of Arkansas offers a glimpse inside its long-shuttered experimental reactor before it’s demolished. (KASU)

• A report on solar industry jobs shows how hard it will be for Donald Trump to keep his promise to revive coal country. (Louisville Courier-Journal)
• A Florida advocate says the Sabal Trail pipeline is already damaging the land. (Tallahassee Democrat)
• An opponent says FERC’s impact statement on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline “whitewashes all of the negative impacts” of the project. (News Virginian)
• An oil industry group says the oil industry is doing its part to preserve Louisiana’s coastline. (Houma Today)
• Why “perpetual energy” is a better term for offshore wind. (Morganton News Herald)
• Virginia lawmakers should reject bills seeking to keep fracking information from the public. (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)

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