Southeast Energy News

Kentucky utilities plan to stop the bulk of their coal burning

UTILITIES: The parent company of Kentucky’s two large utilities orders a major reduction in emissions by eliminating “the bulk” of its coal-burning in the coming years. The utilities continue to battle with advocates over the future of solar energy in the state. (Courier Journal)

MORE: A Democratic Kentucky lawmaker says adding three members mid-session to a House Committee is “part of an insidious malignancy that can infect a democracy.” The committee is considering a bill to slash credits that utilities must provide to solar panel owners for any extra electricity they produce. (Courier Journal)

ATLANTIC COAST PIPELINE:
• North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s contrasting actions on offshore drilling and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline have frustrated activists but reflect the issues’ very different legal, political and economic risks. (Southeast Energy News)
• North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s new legislative director is a former lobbyist for the oil and gas industry whose clients included a stakeholder in the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project. (WRAL)
• A Dominion Energy official says after years of discussions, negotiations and lobbying, preliminary work for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is finally in the home stretch. (Triangle Business Journal, subscription)

DOMINION-SCANA
• Dominion Energy’s buyout of South Carolina’s troubled SCANA could be delayed until early 2019 — if it happens at all — following a South Carolina Senate panel’s action that postpones the acquisition. (The State)
• South Carolina’s utility watchdog agency is looking into how much SCANA and Dominion Energy are spending on lobbying and advertising on the proposed takeover. (Post and Courier)

LEGISLATION: A report shows utility legislation in Virginia that is rapidly advancing toward the state’s Senate floor still contains provisions that would make it more difficult for regulators to issue customer refunds and lower base rates in the future. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

SOLAR: South Carolina electric co-ops and Duke Energy are skeptical about proposed solar legislation that is being touted as a way for ratepayers to save money on their electric bills. (The State)

COAL ASH:
Alabama’s attorney general argues a federally mandated excavation of a coal ash pond in Tennessee violates states’ rights to regulate groundwater. (AL.com)
• A Virginia Senate panel advances a measure to prevent Dominion Energy from capping its coal ash in place for at least another year while lawmakers study the issue. (Associated Press)

EFFICIENCY: A report commissioned by a consumer group shows Dominion Energy could save Virginia ratepayers hundreds of millions of dollars by investing more in energy efficiency. (Utility Dive)

POLITICS:
• A majority of Democrats running for Congress in Virginia agree not to take campaign money from Dominion Energy or Appalachian Power Co. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
• The Justice Department is considering a retrial for a West Virginia coal boss accused of organizing a campaign finance scheme to give coal industry executives access to members of Congress. (Associated Press)

OVERSIGHT: President Donald Trump’s nomination of former coal-industry lobbyist Andrew Wheeler to serve as the second-highest ranking official at the Environmental Protection Agency is heading to the full Senate for a vote. (Associated Press)

OFFSHORE DRILLING: Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke still wants to expand the country’s offshore drilling as opposition mounts from governors of states that want to also be removed from consideration, as Zinke did with Florida. (ThinkProgress)

OFF THE GRID: A conservative Kentucky congressman experiments with powering his entire home with a Tesla car battery — and it worked. (Rare)

COMMENTARY:
• Virginia politics crosses into new territory, from only tree-hugging environmentalists on the left who were promoting renewable energy to orthodox conservatives on the right now embracing renewables. (Roanoke Times)
• The Tennessee Valley Authority’s mandatory fee increases are hiding in plain view, says the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

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