Daily digest

Customers may need to pay higher electric bills to boost coal industry, says FERC head

COAL: FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee said Thursday some power customers may need to pay higher electric bills in order to prop up the declining coal-mining industry, but insisted “it would not be a federal subsidy.” (Courier Journal)

ALSO: There has been no sustained employment rebound for coal mining so far under the Trump Administration, data from July through September shows. (Lexington Herald-Leader)

• A dispute over whether state agencies can enter into third-party solar contracts means a goal set by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe may not be met. (Southeast Energy News)
• A new trend is emerging among some utilities, which are proposing separate rate classes for solar customers, according to the latest report from North Carolina research group. (Utility Dive)
• A look at how the Department of Defense is embracing solar power at three U.S. military installations in Florida that, combined, are the biggest solar installation in the state. (Business Review USA)

UTILITIES: Florida’s NextEra Energy is a leader in bids to buy South Carolina’s state-run Santee Cooper utility company. (Post and Courier)

• Georgia regulators are seeking more information about the engineering and design of the Plant Vogtle nuclear project, following the recent failure of South Carolina’s Summer nuclear plant project. (Post and Courier)
• A tax plan in the U.S. House would extend a tax credit for the nuclear industry, which would benefit Southern Co.’s troubled Vogtle nuclear plant project in Georgia. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: The Environmental Protection Agency will hold a public hearing in late November in West Virginia on its plan to repeal the Obama-era Clean Power Plan. (Associated Press)

FERC: The Senate on Thursday confirmed Republican Kevin McIntyre and Democrat Richard Glick to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, making a full panel for the first time in two years. (RTO Insider)

PIPELINES: The Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission has acquired more than 500 acres in the state to protect habitats for bats in part from the potential effects of construction of the Diamond Pipeline. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

• FERC on Thursday approved Columbia Gulf Transmission’s Rayne XPress Expansion Project, would deliver additional Marcellus and Utica shale gas to markets on the Gulf Coast. (Natural Gas Intel)
• Royal Dutch Shell has decided against permanently closing a gasoline-producing unit at its Convent, Louisiana, oil refinery. (Reuters)

OFFSHORE DRILLING: Greenpeace is holding two non-violent protest training sessions in South Carolina as the Trump administration is proposing to open Southeast ocean waters to oil and natural gas exploration. (Post and Courier)

• Two members of the Tea Party say they support Georgia’s nuclear energy efforts through the construction project at the state’s Plant Vogtle, but not charging ratepayers in advance of any electricity being produced. (Atlanta Constitution-Journal)
• “There’s a bit of show biz about to start Monday” as Georgia regulators hold hearings over how much ratepayers should be charged for the Vogtle plant. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
• Researchers at Georgia State University published a study that shows the “ridiculous political divide on climate change” and how many people align their opinions along party lines, says a columnist. (Forbes)

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