Southeast Energy News

Atlantic Coast Pipeline price tag will top $6 billion, Duke says

PIPELINES: Duke Energy says the Atlantic Coast Pipeline will cost more to build because of delays and more stringent conditions from regulators. The company said the project will cost between $6 billion and $6.5 billion after initially estimating $5 billion. (WFAE)

MORE: A federal judge grants a preliminary injunction to developers of the Mountain Valley Pipeline who sued landowners over easement through eminent domain rights to build the pipeline. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

NUCLEAR:

• The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is proposing a $145,000 penalty against Southern Nuclear after discovering falsified reports related to safety inspections at the Vogtle nuclear plant in Georgia. (Washington Examiner)
• Santee Cooper wants to temporarily preserve the site of South Carolina’s now-failed Summer at a price of $19 million a year. (Post and Courier)

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DOMINION-SCANA:
• The fraudulent emails sent to South Carolina lawmakers urging them to support Dominion Energy’s takeover of SCANA are not the first time the Consumer Energy Alliance has been linked to such tactics. (Think Progress)
• Dominion Energy and SCANA say they are “encouraged” by a proposal that would extend until the end of the year the approval of Dominion’s takeover, despite previously pushing to close the deal by this summer. (Post and Courier)

OFFSHORE DRILLING:
State officials and business groups in Virginia pledged to fight the Trump administration’s plan to expand oil and gas leasing off its coast at the federal government’s lone public hearing there. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
• Opposition to President Trump’s plan to open Atlantic waters to offshore drilling is presenting unexpected obstacles for the energy industry. (Houston Chronicle)

LEGISLATION: Workers from the energy sector rally in front the West Virginia Capitol as legislators inside consider oil and gas bills. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

ELECTRICITY: The Sierra Club opposes Duke Energy’s plan to modify a North Carolina coal plant to allow it to burn a mix of natural gas to produce electricity. (Charlotte Business Journal)

UTILITIES:
• Duke Energy wants to make it easier to charge its North and South Carolina customers for infrastructure investments and other expenses without full rate-case hearings. (Charlotte Business Journal, subscription)
• A drop in electricity demand and the growth of renewable energy prompts the Tennessee Valley Authority to move up by a year its schedule to outline its energy plan for the next 20 years. (Times Free Press)
• An oilman and critic of Mississippi Power said he believes state regulators did not have the power to change the Kemper plant’s permit to allow it to burn only natural gas instead of “clean coal,” but he won’t sue to overturn the terms of a settlement. (Associated Press)

CLIMATE:
• Donald van der Vaart, the former secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, is being considered by the White House to lead the Council on Environmental Quality and is skeptical about the extent to which humans have contributed to climate change. (New York Times)
• When Donald van der Vaart lead North Carolina’s DEQ, supporters said he helped the state’s economy and critics said he hurt the environment. (News & Observer)

COMMENTARY: Even if Virginia is not included in the Trump administration’s offshore drilling expansion, it will still suffer from this drastic plan to turn the nation’s oceans into oilfields, says a guest columnist and an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity. (Virginian-Pilot)

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