COAL: A Mississippi utility faces another downgrade of its credit rating due to the “declining competitiveness” of the Kemper “clean coal” plant. (Biloxi Sun Herald)

ALSO: Santee Cooper begins demolition of a South Carolina coal plant that was shut down in 2012. (Post and Courier)

COAL ASH:
• A top North Carolina environmental official who led the state’s coal ash response has been dismissed. (Raleigh News & Observer)
• Citizens in a Georgia county raise concerns about plans to bring 10,000 tons of coal ash to a local landfill. (WTVM)

PIPELINES:
• A judge grants developers of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline permission to survey 29 properties without the owners’ permission. (News & Advance)
• Dominion Resources doesn’t expect the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to be delayed by the lack of a quorum at FERC. (New Virginian)
• FERC issues an order delegating some pipeline authority to staff before losing its quorum. (RTO Insider)

FRACKING:
• Virginia lawmakers advance a bill that would exempt some fracking chemicals from public disclosure. (Associated Press)
• Gas industry lobbyists are pushing two new proposals in the West Virginia legislature. (MetroNews)

OVERSIGHT: What Jeff Sessions’ congressional record says about how he’d enforce environmental laws as attorney general. (Bloomberg BNA)

SOLAR:
• The owner of a Florida moving and storage company is a vocal proponent of solar power. (Naples Daily News)
• Officials in a South Carolina county advance an ordinance placing tougher restrictions on solar farms. (Hartsville Messenger)

NUCLEAR: A federal safety review finds no issues with plans for a new Virginia reactor. (Daily Energy Insider)

TRANSPORTATION: A Georgia highway is becoming a laboratory for more sustainable transportation. (Curbed)

GRID: Officials in Gatlinburg, Tennessee study whether buried power lines helped limit the spread of recent wildfires. (WKRN)

EFFICIENCY: A Virginia company is awarded a $700,000 performance bonus for helping Hawaii meet efficiency targets. (Pacific Business News)

UTILITIES: The parent company of Dominion Virginia Power is changing its name from Dominion Resources to Dominion Energy. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY:
• “Clearly, market trends run counter” to a Florida utility’s pursuit of two new nuclear reactors. (Miami Community Newspapers)
• “Republicans made trashing the planet in defense of a dying industry their first priority.” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
• A North Carolina newspaper decries “lies and irrational claims” about the Southeast’s largest wind farm. (Elizabeth City Daily Advance)
• The Fayetteville Observer says North Carolina shouldn’t turn its back on solar.

Ken Paulman

Ken is the director of the Energy News Network at Fresh Energy and is a founding editor of both Midwest Energy News and Southeast Energy News. Prior to joining Fresh Energy, he was the managing editor for online news at Minnesota Public Radio. He started his journalism career in 2002 as a copy editor for the Duluth News Tribune before spending five years at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, where he worked as a copy editor, online producer, features editor and night city editor. A Nebraska native, Ken has a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's degree from the University of Oregon. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors.