Southeast Energy News

Coal-state senators see influence rise on energy, environment

POLICY: Senators from coal-producing states including West Virginia are expected to helm three out of four leadership posts in the chamber’s energy and environment committees. (E&E News)

ALSO:
• Florida regulators push to allow portions of public hearings to be conducted in secret, ostensibly to protect trade secrets. (Tampa Bay Times)
• Environmentalists call on the Florida state legislature to create committees devoted to climate change. (WCJB)

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SOLAR:
• Knoxville’s utility signs a purchase agreement that will see the Tennessee mountain city power 20% of its electricity from solar by 2023. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)
• North Carolina regulators sign off on a 75 MW solar facility planned for mountainous Wilkes County, but the project still must obtain local approvals. (Wilkes Journal-Patriot)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• A central Virginia county approves installation of charging stations for electric school buses. (WRIC)
• College students compete in a 48-hour contest to develop ideas for how to promote electric vehicle adoption in Chattanooga, Tennessee. (SmartCitiesWorld)

PIPELINES:
• A western Virginia judge finds two tree-sitters in contempt of court and fines them $500 per day for as long as they continue to block the Mountain Valley Pipeline. (Roanoke Times)
• The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers considers changes to its nationwide permitting program, including a permit for crossing waterways that has become a flashpoint in pipeline fights. (Engineering News-Record)

OIL & GAS:
• A lease sale for drilling rights in the Gulf of Mexico this week attracts more bidders than in March, but remains well below 2019 figures amid an industry slump. (Houma Today)
• A liquid natural gas firm delays its decision on whether to build an $8.5 billion export terminal in Louisiana until mid-2021. (New Orleans Advocate)

GRID:
• A North Carolina electric cooperative adopts “self-healing grid” technology to reduce the length of outages in a five-county region. (The Pilot)
• Georgia Transmission nears completion of a new substation in the Atlanta metro area. (Rockdale Citizen)

ENERGY EFFICIENCY: An Alabama school board considers infrastructure upgrades to lower energy costs, but hedges based on the potential cost. (Cullman Times)

UTILITIES: Duke Energy appoints an executive to a new post responsible for overseeing progress toward net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. (Charlotte Business Journal)

TRANSITION:
• A southwestern Virginia economic development agency uses coal tax revenue to establish a fund to promote renewable energy projects. (Virginia Business)
• Solar developers eye former coal mines in West Virginia for opportunities. (Forbes)

CLEAN ENERGY: A Virginia county board passes a resolution committing to 100% renewable energy for county government by 2030 and for the entire county by 2035. (Food & Water Watch)

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