Southeast Energy News

Federal judge halts construction of Louisiana’s Bayou Bridge pipeline

PIPELINES: A federal judge suspends construction of the Bayou Bridge pipeline in Louisiana until a lawsuit from environmental groups is resolved. DeSmogBlog publishes photos of debris and other damage along the route since construction began in mid January. (Associated Press, DeSmog)

• Virginia regulators outline a strategy to monitor construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, including a team of inspectors and contractors to conduct routine audits and water quality tests. (Roanoke Times)
• An appeals court motion by environmental groups alleges the Mountain Valley Pipeline project was unlawfully issued a permit by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers because West Virginia waived a necessary certification for construction. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• Two bills in West Virginia would give interstate pipeline crews access to private properties and change how fair market value is calculated when eminent domain is claimed, but neither has made much headway. (State Journal)

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GRID: Customer and clean energy advocates in North Carolina argue Duke Energy’s $13 billion grid modernization plan is vague, thinly justified, and will do little to benefit customers or clean energy. (Southeast Energy News)

COAL ASH: North Carolina regulators stop Duke Energy from charging consumers the full cost of closing coal ash waste pits while assessing a $30 million mismanagement penalty. (Associated Press)

• South Carolina’s electric co-ops will sue Santee Cooper the stop the utility from charging their 1.5 million customers for the abandoned Summer nuclear project. (The State)
• A look at how a New Hampshire utility escaped bankruptcy years ago as South Carolina’s SCANA faces a similar fate. (The State)
• Atlanta-based Southern Company says its 2017 earnings were $842 million, down from $2.4 billion in 2016, due in part to Georgia Power’s over-budget and behind-schedule Vogtle nuclear project. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

• Energy analysts say the boost in the coal industry is temporary and has nothing to do with White House policies. (NPR)
• Coal Country is divided over Don Blankenship’s U.S. senate bid following his one-year prison sentence for his role in West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch coal mine accident that killed 29 men in 2010. (New York Times)
• A West Virginia judge dismisses a defamation lawsuit brought by coal company Murray Energy against HBO host John Oliver. (Associated Press)

RENEWABLE ENERGY: Energy companies in Virginia adjust their business models while awaiting state legislation that may boost renewable energy. (Daily Progress)

SOLAR: Small, lightweight portable solar panels from a North Carolina manufacturer power many of the golf carts at the Honda Classic in Florida. (Palm Beach Post)

NATURAL GAS: Royal Dutch Shell plans to shut a gasoline-producing unit at a Louisiana refinery for six weeks for a planned overhaul. (Reuters)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Atlanta-based UPS is partnering with Workhorse truck maker to build electric delivery vans that could replace tens of thousands of vehicles in its fleet. (Reuters)

OFFSHORE DRILLING: The federal government’s only scheduled public meeting today in North Carolina to discuss expanding offshore drilling is expected to draw large opposition crowds. (Associated Press)

CLIMATE: A small coastal town in Louisiana is a harbinger of an uncertain future as climate change contributes to rising sea levels, cities face the question of which should receive scarce resources and which should be left to their unprotected fate. (Times-Picayune, New York Times)

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