Southeast Energy News

EPA removes Arkansas’ coal restrictions

PLUG: Southeast Energy News reporter Elizabeth Ouzts will be a guest on WUNC’s “The State of Things” program to talk about the latest developments with the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project. Listen on the air or online at noon Eastern.

EMISSIONS: The EPA accepts part of a scaled-back haze-reduction plan from Arkansas, though the most contentious part of the plan is not final. The Sierra Club said the action amounts to the EPA rejecting its own clean air plan(Associated Press, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Arkansas Times)

• The federal government wants a seat at the table as South Carolina regulators review Dominion Energy’s proposed purchase of a state utility. (Post and Courier)
• Dominion Energy’s CEO is optimistic the planned purchase of SCANA will be completed later this year, despite criticism the proposal sells customers short. (The State)
• Dominion expects 8 to 10 percent earnings growth over a three-year period if its planned SCANA takeover is approved. (Aiken Standard)
• South Carolina’s legislative agenda continues to center on the scrapped Summer nuclear project as lawmakers consider repealing a law that lets utilities charge customers before the plants were finished. (Post and Courier)

COAL ASH: Environmental groups challenge the dismissal of a lawsuit that would force a cleanup of coal ash the groups say is contaminating groundwater flowing into a central Kentucky lake. (E&E News, registration)

• Virginia regulators say legislation pushed by Dominion Energy could keep customers from getting refunds for years, make it more difficult to lower base rates and result in billions of dollars in extra costs for ratepayers. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
• An email exchange reveals close ties between Dominion Energy and Virginia lawmakers from both parties, which may be critical as Dominion faces scrutiny of its political influence. (Associated Press)

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper intervenes to help Duke Energy and solar developers resolve a dispute that threatened to block more than 100 projects. (Charlotte Business Journal, subscription)
• The North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center releases its quarterly 50 States of Solar report analyzing solar policy actions around the country. (pv magazine)
Arkansas solar industry officials say Trump’s tariff on imported products shouldn’t prevent solar from continuing its fast-paced growth there. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

PIPELINES: A Nashville resident who co-authored a field study that he says showed the poor condition and oversight of Tennessee pipeline infrastructure is starting an initiative to publicly promote clean energy with his study as its centerpiece. (Tennessean)

OFFSHORE DRILLING: Federal officials postpone until Feb. 21 a meeting on potentially reopening the Virginia coastline to offshore drilling, though the location is still two hours from the coast despite criticism. (Virginia Pilot)

SHALE: The University of Southern Mississippi joins a DOE-funded university consortium for a three-year project to research shale extraction from the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale in the Gulf Coast region. (Mississippi Business Journal)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Georgia lawmakers make a second attempt to pass a state-tax credit for purchase of zero-emission vehicles. (Green Car Reports)

ALTERNATIVE FUELS: An executive from Microsoft left the company to join a Florida-based startup company that enables the on-demand production of hydrogen fuel from seawater. (Orlando Sentinel)

NextEra’s CEO tells investors it will soon be cheaper to build new renewables than to continue running existing coal and nuclear plants, which a columnist says is a sign of the extraordinary progress. (Vox)
• President Trump has been quick to celebrate the 771 net coal workers hired last year, but this small gain has also been accompanied by a surge in deaths of the workers in the industry. (Newsweek)
• An editorial board says there doesn’t seem to be a compelling reason why the Bayou Bridge pipeline project shouldn’t move forward, though that doesn’t stop opponents of fossil-fuel development from trying. (The Advocate)
• President Trump isn’t doing South Carolina any favors with his plan to expand offshore drilling and his recent import tariff on imported solar panels. (Post and Courier)
• A guest columnist says the federal government’s plan to expand offshore drilling “places Virginia in a unique position to be one of the greatest beneficiaries,” citing job creation, economic growth and national security. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)



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