Daily digest

Divided federal commission greenlights Atlantic Coast, Mountain Valley pipelines

PIPELINES: FERC conditionally approved on Friday the controversial Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines in a 2-1 vote, with the dissenter saying she could not support the projects “given the environmental impacts and possible superior alternatives.” (Associated Press)

• Experts say two high-profile setbacks dealt to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline by North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration are not necessarily a sign the project is in trouble(Southeast Energy News)
• FERC rejected conducting an examination of how the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines fit in the nation’s energy policy and sidestepped concerns about the long-term environmental effects. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• Opponents in Virginia of the Mountain Valley Pipeline say they will continue pressing federal, state and local officials to reject the project through other permitting that is still necessary. (Roanoke Times)
• Reactions were mixed to FERC’s approval of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project. (News Virginian)
• Some opponents in Virginia say the Atlantic Coast Pipeline serves only for utility companies to make a profit. (CBS 19)
• A court ruling in August that requires FERC to consider the impact of greenhouse gas emissions from natural gas pipelines won’t have a “significant” impact on its reviews. (RTO Insider)

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• An oil rig in a Louisiana lake exploded on Sunday and seven injuries have been reported, though the exact cause is still uncertain. (Times-Picayune)
• Thousands of barrels of oil spilled into Gulf waters off Louisiana’s coast after an underwater pipe broke open on Friday, but is now no longer leaking. (Reuters)
• A House subcommittee is considering a bill that would expand the distribution of revenue from some oil and gas leasing to new states, including Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. (Natural Gas Intel)

• Board members of SCANA Corp. who oversaw the now-failed Summer nuclear project in South Carolina lacked nuclear expertise and were compensated more than $200,000 in stock and fees. (Post and Courier)
• Santee Cooper plans to cut costs to avoid another electric rate hike following the failure of the Summer nuclear plant in South Carolina. (Post and Courier)
• The Florida utility NextEra and Virginia utility Dominion Energy are interested in buying South Carolina’s state-owned Santee Cooper, which is at the heart of the now-failed Summer nuclear project. (The State)

COAL: Appalachia Power says the Trump administration’s repeal of the Clean Power Plan will not affect the utility’s coal use in West Virginia. (Herald-Dispatch)

UTILITIES: Many utility customers in Florida are complaining about higher bills despite going without electricity for days because of outages caused by Hurricane Irma last month. (Orlando Sentinel)

• An energy expert says repealing the Clean Power Plan can’t save the coal industry and will only make electricity more expensive. (The Hill)
• Sen. Joe Manchin says the rollback of the Clean Power Plan “is long overdue and welcome good news for West Virginia.” (State Journal)
• An editorial says Appalachian coal counties resemble hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico in terms of economics and population declines and have a unique opportunity to join forces to find solutions. (Roanoke Times)
Politico magazine looks at President Trump’s “love affair with coal” and his focus on one shrinking industry.
• Rejecting the Clean Power Plan may harm electricity consumers because it relied on the market to let competing companies find the most efficient ways to reduce pollution. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

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