Southeast Energy News

House passes offshore drilling bans for Atlantic, Pacific, Florida Gulf coasts

OFFSHORE DRILLING: The U.S. House passes two bills, one banning new offshore oil and gas leasing off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, and the other banning oil and gas leasing off the Florida coast in the Gulf of Mexico. (CNBC)

ALSO: U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), who chairs a Senate subcommittee on energy, vows to block the bills. (The Advocate)

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SOLAR:
• Louisiana regulators approve a rule that allows utilities to pay a lower rate to solar customers under net metering; solar advocates say the change will chill the industry and lead to layoffs. (The Advocate)
• A Memphis utility could cut costs by up to a third by sourcing power from solar and wind instead of the Tennessee Valley Authority, according to a firm hired by an environmental group. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)
• A California solar company receives $210 million in financing for the first phase of a 150 MW solar farm in Texas. (San Antonio Express-News)

WIND: A planned wind farm in the Texas panhandle will generate 500 MW of electricity, developers say. (KFDA)

OIL & GAS:
• T. Boone Pickens, an Oklahoma oil tycoon who became an advocate for alternative energy sources, dies at age 91. (New York Times)
• Oil and gas company EQT, which has operations in West Virginia, says it will lay off 23% of its workforce to save costs. (WV News)
• An Australian oil company looks at a pristine corner of West Texas for potential drilling operations. (Courthouse News)
• Shale producers keep finding ways to cut costs with cheap fracking systems, but they cost service companies more to build. (Reuters)

COAL:
• A beekeeping collective in West Virginia offers an employment option for coal miners and others looking for work in Appalachia. (Civil Eats)
• Foundations and charities donate to help out-of-work miners formerly employed by Blackjewel, which went bankrupt and took back their paychecks. (WTVQ)

COAL ASH: Stokes County, North Carolina, residents raise concerns about Duke Energy’s coal ash disposal methods at a power plant. (Stokes News)

UTILITIES: Electric cooperatives in the Southeast are at risk of losing their nonprofit status and seeing price hikes under President Trump’s tax system overhaul. (E&E News, subscription)

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NUCLEAR: A waste processing facility at the Savannah River nuclear site will soon start operations. (Aiken Standard) 

COMMENTARY: Despite broad opposition in Austin, developers are building a natural gas pipeline through Texas hill country, a journalist says. (Austin Chronicle)

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