UTILITIES: The CEOs of Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas defend their planned merger while clean energy advocates claim it would heighten risks to customers. (Charlotte Observer)

NUCLEAR: Florida State University and the University of South Carolina are tapped to host research on ways to dispose of commercial nuclear waste. (SaintPetersBlog)

• A court derails a plan for a controversial biomass plant in eastern Kentucky. (Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting)
• A new law in North Carolina extends to January 1, 2020 a tax credit for energy produced from animal waste, but there’s a catch. (JD Supra Business Advisor)

POLICY: The Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club grades lawmakers on clean energy and environmental bills in its annual scorecard. (Power for the People VA blog)

• Sampling results from coal dust monitors indicate a new regulation to protect miners is working. (Lexington Herald-Leader)
• After pulling back from a warning of massive layoffs in West Virginia, Kentucky and other states, the CEO of Murray Energy reportedly renews it. (Columbus Dispatch)

PIPELINES: Residents of southwestern Virginia urge state regulators to scrutinize plans for both the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines. (The Roanoke Times)

• A Dominion Virginia Power plant set to begin generating electricity in late 2018 is designed to be among the most efficient in the world. (Bacon’s Rebellion)
• The Dept. of Energy authorizes Sempra Energy to export gas from its proposed liquefaction facility in Louisiana to countries without a free-trade pact with the U.S. (PennEnergy)

• Why Floridians should vote for the solar amendment on August’s primary ballot and against the utility-backed amendment on the November ballot. (Orlando Sentinel)
Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia is wrong to hit a Virginia non-profit for attacking free speech on climate change. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
• Investors should help commercialize North Carolina A&T State University’s research to turn coal ash into building materials. (Sustainablog)
• Environmental activists should not march, but talk with Virginia’s governor to find alternatives to proposed natural gas pipelines. (The Roanoke Times)

Jim Pierobon, a policy, marketing and social media strategist, was a founding contributor to Southeast Energy News. He passed away after a long battle with pancreatic cancer in 2018.

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