Daily digest

Controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline could expand to South Carolina

PIPELINES: Developers of the controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline are considering expanding the project into South Carolina, according to an audio recording that was leaked to the Associated Press.

• Utilities owe some $244 million in unpaid bills known as mechanics’ liens for work on the now-abandoned Summer nuclear project, which are in addition to the roughly $9 billion that has already been paid out.  (Post and Courier)
• The Trump administration approved $3.7 billion in loan guarantees for Georgia’s troubled Plant Vogtle nuclear project. (Atlanta Business Chronicle)
• Officials from South Carolina’s state-owned utility Santee Cooper will testify Tuesday before lawmakers who are investigating the failed Summer nuclear project. (The State)
• South Carolina regulators have deferred action on a petition to suspend about $37 million a month in rates customers are being charged for the now-abandoned Summer nuclear plant, as the state’s attorney general wants to intervene in determining whether the utility company can continue to bill customers. (Charlotte Business Journal, Associated Press)
• SCANA shares are dropping as the fallout continues from South Carolina’s failed Summer nuclear project. (Post and Courier)
• Santee Cooper is expected to name an interim CEO to replace its retiring CEO, who is the only executive to leave involved with the failed Summer nuclear project. (Associated Press)

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• Energy Secretary Rick Perry asks federal regulators to adopt what would be a broad rule aimed at helping the declining U.S. coal industry in an effort to “strengthen American energy security.”  (Charleston Mail-Gazette)
• A new report says Duke Energy would save money and create jobs if it stopped using coal and relied more on renewable energy, though the utility says the study is unrealistic. (Daily Advance)
• Miners in many coal states, including West Virginia, may have the skills to work in renewable energy fields. (New York Times)
• Researchers from the University of Georgia say the government must provide incentives similar to the ones that solar and wind receive if the U.S. wants to begin replacing coal with wood pellets at power plants. (Biomass Magazine)

• The Tennessee Valley Authority will follow a court order to move coal ash from the banks of the Cumberland River, though it says the process will take 15 or more years. (Nashville Public Radio)
• Georgia Power staff and state regulators say no coal ash escaped an impoundment that was flooded as a result of Hurricane Irma. (Brunswick News)
• Opponents question the EPA’s proposed changes to coal ash regulations as well as its move to abruptly end a public comment period. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

OIL AND GAS: The West Virginia Water Research Institute presented information from a two-year study at the annual Shale Insight conference to eliminate misconceptions and foster understanding, according to the institute’s director. (Exponent Telegram)

• An author says Virginia lawmakers, including Gov. Terry McAuliffe, are not doing enough to combat threats from climate change. (Virginian Pilot)
• An energy and environmental researcher says “three cheers for coal and the coal industry’s nascent recovery,” praising President Trump’s actions to help the struggling industry. (The Hill)
• A columnist says when it comes to climate change, “we must start asking the correct questions or we will be saddled with the results of all the wrong answers.” (News Virginian)

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