PIPELINES: Weeks before the massive Colonial Pipeline incident, a cash-strapped Alabama agency announced plans to stop responding to spills, leaving it to local communities instead. (Anniston Star)

ALSO:
• Thousands of opponents of the Sabal Trail Pipeline will hold a “massive civil protest” in Florida this weekend. (Orlando Weekly)
• A Louisiana group says new pipeline approvals should be halted, citing 144 accidents in the state last year. (New Orleans Times-Picayune)
• Colonial Pipeline is working to plug a leak in a gasoline pipeline serving Nashville. (Atlanta Business Chronicle)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join fellow advocates, renewable energy business leaders, utility staff and regulators at the sixth annual Clean Power Summit Feb 23-24 in Charleston, S.C. As a supporting sponsor, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy extends a 10% discount off registration. Use code: CECPS ***

CLIMATE:
• Kentucky lawmakers will introduce a bill backed by a student group urging action on climate change. (WKMS)
• More than 600 U.S. companies have signed onto a letter urging President-elect Trump to not back out of the Paris climate agreement. (InsideClimate News)

CLEAN ENERGY: A Greenpeace report says data center construction in Virginia, which is heavily dependent on coal and nuclear, offset gains in renewable energy elsewhere. (Seattle Times)

POLITICS: A Tennessee Republican urges Rick Perry to visit the Oak Ridge National Laboratory if he’s confirmed as Secretary of Energy: “I will stress to the new administration… the tremendous benefit of the national labs.” (Times Free Press)

SOLAR: Duke Energy and O2, a solar installer, trade accusations over connecting new systems to the grid. (Charlotte Business Journal)

FRACKING: A study finds a net economic benefit for communities near fracking operations, even after accounting for crime and other negative impacts. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

CLIMATE: Researchers at North Carolina State, Appalachian State and the University of Saskatchewan find coastal officials’ willingness to adapt to climate change depends on threats they perceived to their communities. (Progressive Pulse)

COAL:
• A closer look at Jim Justice, the new governor of West Virginia, and whether he can deliver on his promise to revive the state’s coal industry. (Bloomberg)
• Kentucky lawmakers try to revive a tax incentive to encourage utilities and industries to burn more of the state’s coal. (Platts)
• Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, shares his environmental wish list with President-elect Trump. (Associated Press)
• A Kentucky congressman wants to save the part of the Affordable Care Act that ensures Black Lung benefits for qualifying miners. (McClatchy Newspapers)

NUCLEAR:
• An outgoing memo from Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz calls for “reinvigorating” nuclear energy. (World Nuclear News)
• Reactors in Virginia are among those operating with parts from a French forge under investigation for falsifying documents. (Reuters)

TRANSPORTATION: Officials in Wake County, North Carolina say a state cap on transit spending is making it harder to obtain federal funding. (Raleigh News & Observer)

COMMENTARY:Strong leadership by forward-thinking governors, policymakers, and power company executives” will continue progress on clean energy. (Environmental Defense Fund)

CORRECTION: An item in yesterday’s digest misidentified the location of a solar project. It is in Pitt County, North Carolina, not South Carolina.

Ken Paulman

Ken is the director of the Energy News Network at Fresh Energy and is a founding editor of both Midwest Energy News and Southeast Energy News. Prior to joining Fresh Energy, he was the managing editor for online news at Minnesota Public Radio. He started his journalism career in 2002 as a copy editor for the Duluth News Tribune before spending five years at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, where he worked as a copy editor, online producer, features editor and night city editor. A Nebraska native, Ken has a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's degree from the University of Oregon. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors.

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