Southeast Energy News

Legal loophole allows oil, gas companies to drill in Gulf royalty-free

OFFSHORE DRILLING: The U.S. has lost billions of dollars in oil and gas revenue to fossil fuel companies due to a loophole in a 1995 law allowing them to drill in the Gulf of Mexico royalty-free. (New York Times)

• South Carolina regulators will soon decide how much major utilities will pay solar companies for power, which will determine how high rates are for customers. (Myrtle Beach Online)
• A Spanish company plans to increase its solar footprint in Oklahoma, Kentucky and other states with 3,000 MW of solar and 1,000 MW of solar-plus-storage. (Oklahoman)

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UTILITIES: An Arkansas electric cooperative says solar power and energy efficiency are bringing down its costs, and it’s asking regulators to approve a rate reduction for its members. (Camden News)

WIND: A French company will build a 366 MW wind farm near Waco, Texas, and supply Walmart with the power. (Austin Business Journal, subscription)

EMISSIONS: Virginia Natural Gas says it is partnering with a gas producer and three pipeline companies to reduce methane leaks across the system from wells to homes and businesses. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

OIL & GAS: A $10 billion natural gas liquefaction plant in Louisiana officially begins operations. (KATC) 

PIPELINES: The Texas Municipal League asks the state to pass legislation that would require more regulations for pipeline routing. (Community Impact Newspapers)

• Blackjewel coal company, which declared bankruptcy in June, commits to paying West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky coal miners $5 million in backpay. (Ohio Valley Resource)
• Companies tied to West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice are ordered to pay $35 million in damages over a coal deal. (Lexington Herald Leader)
• A mine owner, an environmental lawyer and a journalist from West Virginia discuss the future of coal in Appalachia. (WVPB)

GRID: Puerto Rico’s government-owned utility announces a $20 billion plan to modernize and strengthen its power grid destroyed by Hurricane Maria. (E&E News, subscription)

COMMENTARY: Georgia Power’s rate hike is overinflated and based on inaccurate calculations, experts and clean energy advocates say. (Southern Alliance for Clean Energy)

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