Southeast Energy News

Nine attorneys general sue Trump administration over offshore drilling

NOTE TO READERS: Southeast Energy News is taking a break for the holidays. The daily digest will return on Wednesday, January 2.

OFFSHORE DRILLING: Attorneys general from nine states, including Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, join a lawsuit filed by environmental groups that seeks to block the Trump administration from doing seismic testing for offshore drilling in the Atlantic Ocean. (Washington Post)

WIND: Wind power generated 19,168 megawatts of electricity in Texas early this morning, beating a previous record, regulators say. (Houston Chronicle)

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SOLAR:
• Solar projects are proposed in two Texas counties with vehement opposition in one county and support in the other county. (KETR)
Utilities in the Southeast face challenging policy questions because of the region’s growing demand for solar energy. (Utility Dive)
A Nashville-based solar company will help power a Facebook data center in Georgia. (The Tennessean)
A survey by a solar company shows Spotsylvania County residents support a new solar project, but opponents dominated a public hearing. (Roanoke Times)
Florida Power & Light plans to offer customers subscriptions to solar energy projects, which allow them to earn money back on electric bills. (Sun Sentinel)

UTILITIES: Texas regulators delay considering proposals that would change the way wholesale electricity markets work in Texas and raise electricity rates for customers. (Houston Chronicle)

RENEWABLES: Debbie Dooley, a high-profile conservative leader and renewable energy advocate, faces an ethics complaint. (E&E News, subscription)

NUCLEAR: An environmental group says the Dominion-SCANA merger is not a good deal for consumers. (WFAE)

PIPELINES: Verbal battles continue between residents in Nash County, North Carolina over the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. (Rocky Mount Telegram)

COAL:
• Demonstrators say they were denied a meeting with Sen. Mitch McConnell about extending the coal company tax that funds black lung medical benefits. (Ohio Valley Resource)
• The rescue of three people at an old mine in West Virginia highlights the environmental and safety risks of abandoned mines throughout the country. (New York Times)

COAL ASH: Harriman, Tennessee officials approve an agreement to move forward with litigation over the 2008 Kingston coal ash spill, becoming the third local government in Roane County to do so. (Roane County News)

OIL & GAS:
• An estimated 7.7 billion barrels of new crude oil will head to the Gulf Coast from the Permian Basin if all 15 planned pipeline projects materialize. (Midland Reporter-Telegram)
• The oil and gas boom in Texas and Oklahoma brings a higher risk of death and injuries: from 2008 through 2017, 1,566 workers perished trying to extract oil and gas in the U.S. (Texas Tribune, Center for Public Integrity)

COMMENTARY:
• Coal plants in Texas and Louisiana are saving customers money and reduce emissions by switching to seasonal operations and running less since renewables are available at a cheaper cost, an analyst says. (Union of Concerned Scientists blog)
• It’s unclear what’s happening with the Virginia air pollution control board regulators’ decision on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, but their voting delays raise concern, an editorial board says. (Roanoke Times)
• Florida should join the lawsuit against the Trump administration over plans to do seismic testing for oil and gas in the Atlantic Ocean. (Sun Sentinel)

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