Southeast Energy News

Charleston sues fossil fuel companies for climate damages

CLIMATE: Charleston, South Carolina, files a lawsuit against 24 fossil fuel companies accusing them of misleading the public on climate change and seeking compensation for flooding damages in the city. (Charlotte Observer)

ALSO:
• An environmental group’s attorney compares Charleston’s climate lawsuit to the case once made against tobacco companies that deceived customers about their products’ health risks. (WCIV)
• In New Orleans, oil and gas companies ask a federal appeals court to reconsider a unanimous decision not to move a climate lawsuit from Louisiana coastal communities into federal court. (New Orleans City Business)

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OIL & GAS:
• In the wake of Hurricane Laura, an oil sheen at least 20 miles long covers wetlands along Louisiana’s coast and other waterways. (DeSmog)
• The storm caused significant damage at a site storing about 30% of the nation’s emergency crude oil reserves but no shortages are expected. (Associated Press)
• President Trump’s new offshore drilling moratorium excluded North Carolina, alarming environmental groups there. (News & Observer)

NATURAL GAS: After weeks of uncertainty, West Virginia economic development officials unanimously approve a $5.5 million loan guarantee for a major gas-fired power plant project. (Herald-Dispatch)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• A presentation to city officials in Austin, Texas, suggests Tesla’s factory there could begin producing Cybertrucks as early as May 2021. (TeslaRati)
• Duke Energy pledges to convert most of its 10,000-vehicle fleet to electric or other zero-emission vehicles by 2030. (Fox Carolina)

SOLAR:
• An Austin company is hiring 350 trades workers to construct a Texas solar project that will provide power to up to 25,000 homes. (Statesman)
• A Virginia county board tables a decision on a solar farm permit after several people spoke for and against the project at a meeting Wednesday. (WHSV)
• South Carolina’s Supreme Court rejects three advocacy groups’ challenges to the state’s new renewable energy rates paid by utilities. (Law360, subscription)

COAL:
• Southern Company agrees to pay $87.5 million to settle claims that it misled shareholders about a botched plan to build a “clean coal” plant in Mississippi. (Law360, subscription)
• Opponents are challenging Duke Energy Carolinas proposal to pass on coal ash cleanup costs to customers. (Charlotte Business Journal, subscription)
• A regional coal alliance has restructured to focus on metallurgical coal as demand falls for thermal coal used in power plants. (WV News)

NUCLEAR: A Texas congressional candidate warns of the potential catastrophe that could arise from storing nuclear waste in West Texas. (San Angelo Live)

PIPELINES: A pipeline operator scraps an expansion that would have moved 450,000 barrels a day from the Permian Basin to the Gulf Coast. (Kallanish Energy)

COMMENTARY:
Transportation electrification can recharge Tennessee’s economy and launch the state into a new phase of manufacturing and job creation, writes the director of a clean energy business group. (Knox News)
• The Atlantic Coast Pipeline was a fiasco because Dominion Energy ignored the public’s growing dissatisfaction with government’s and industry’s failure to address climate change and environmental injustice, write two Virginia advocates. (Roanoke Times)
• The director of the Texas Campaign for the Environment calls on Joe Biden, if elected, to reject the Trump administration’s practice of putting fossil fuel lobbyists in charge of government agencies. (Houston Chronicle)
• A company that certifies energy efficient homes says that even without tax credits, solar is still a smart investment for homeowners (Energy News Network, sponsored)

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