COAL ASH: Duke Energy customers in North Carolina could see rate increases as the utility seeks to pass along $5 billion in coal ash cleanup costs. (Charlotte Observer)

• Duke Energy’s combination of offers to North Carolina homeowners affected by coal ash pollution is creating confusion, especially for people concerned about giving up their legal rights in the process. (Southeast Energy News)
• Opponents of Dominion Virginia Power’s plan to bury about 4 million tons of coal ash near one of its plants attend a public comment hearing before Virginia state regulators make a decision. (InsideNoVa)

• Flanked by coal-state lawmakers, President Trump signs a bill repealing an Obama-era stream protection rule; repeal of the rule will have far-reaching environmental impacts. (West Virginia Public Broadcasting, InsideClimate News)
New details emerge about a chemical leak from a West Virginia coal conditioning facility. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

CLIMATE: At a conference in Atlanta, Al Gore remains upbeat about preventing the worst impacts of climate change: “Hope is justified. We are going to win this.” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

UTILITIES: A former mayor of Oxford, Mississippi is elected to chair the Tennessee Valley Authority but suggests he is “just keeping the seat warm” for current chair Lynn Evans. (Times Free Press)

• Two North Carolina Republican lawmakers receive recognition from a solar industry group for recognizing “solar is an economic engine, not a partisan technology.” (Asheboro Courier-Journal)
• North Carolina researchers find an expanding number of state-level solar policy debates took place in 2016. (Utility Dive)
• Two Virginia communities are trying to achieve national recognition for lowering barriers to solar power. (NBC 29)
• Officials in an Alabama town reject a proposed solar project, saying “it is new technology and so no one knows whether it would be environmental concern or whatever, ten years down the road.” (Alabama News)
• Legal challenges delay a Kentucky solar project. (WHAS)

• Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards says he supports the Bayou Bridge Pipeline, saying “ultimately the pipeline is much safer than moving it on trains or on trucks.” (New Orleans Times Picayune)
• More than 100 people protest the Atlantic Coast Pipeline outside a FERC hearing in Suffolk, Virginia. (Virginian-Pilot)
• Officials in a Kentucky county approve a compressor station despite concerns from neighbors about light and noise. (Richmond Register)

• Many experts believe Toshiba’s financial troubles spell the end of new nuclear construction in the U.S. without significant public subsidies. (MIT Technology Review)
• Officials in the Florida Keys pass a resolution calling for a Florida Power & Light to stop using cooling canals at its Turkey Point nuclear plant, citing pollution concerns. (Miami New Times)
• Activists gather in Columbia to protest South Carolina Electric and Gas rate hikes for new nuclear reactors. (WLTX)

WIND: Why the Southeast will soon be catching up on wind energy. (WCQS)

GRID: A Germany-based home battery startup is opening a new factory in Atlanta. (Greentech Media)

• In Florida, liberals and conservatives find common ground on solar. (Tampa Bay Times)
• A Kentucky faith leader supports pollution rules: “We must stand with those who fight for God’s good earth.” (Louisville Courier-Journal)
• South Carolina and Tennessee are among states pushing new fees on electric vehicles. (Huffington Post)
• Why a 75-year-old Mississippi woman expects to be around long enough to see a return from her new solar panels. (Northside Sun)

Ken is the director of the Energy News Network at Fresh Energy and is a founding editor of both Midwest Energy News and Southeast Energy News. Prior to joining Fresh Energy, he was the managing editor for online news at Minnesota Public Radio. He started his journalism career in 2002 as a copy editor for the Duluth News Tribune before spending five years at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, where he worked as a copy editor, online producer, features editor and night city editor. A Nebraska native, Ken has a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's degree from the University of Oregon. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors.