Southeast Energy News

North Carolina regulator named to lead EPA prepares for his close-up

OVERSIGHT: Michael Regan draws on years of experience as a North Carolina environmental regulator as he prepares for today’s U.S. Senate hearings on his nomination to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. (Coastal Review Online, E&E News, subscription)

SOLAR:
• Demand for a Duke Energy solar rebate program far outstrips its availability, as the slots available in its fourth year filled up in fewer than three minutes. (Energy News Network)
• Mississippi regulators consider a proposal for a 175 MW solar facility, which would be the biggest in the state. (Delta Democrat-Times)
• Florida regulators approve five Duke Energy solar plants, each with a capacity of just under 75 MW. (Florida Politics)
• A Florida county pauses its consideration of a Florida Power & Light solar farm after residents express concern that it may jeopardize the area’s growing reputation as an ecotourism destination. (Jackson County Floridian)

OIL & GAS:
• The Tennessee Valley Authority proposes replacing aging gas plants in Tennessee with six new natural gas combustion turbines at former coal plants in Kentucky and Alabama. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)
• A Texas state lawmaker files a bill to prevent local governments from banning or restricting natural gas in residential or commercial buildings. (KLTV)
• A natural gas company opens a control center that will support 3,000 miles of gathering, midstream and transmission pipeline across West Virginia. (Huntington Herald-Dispatch)

NUCLEAR: The Tennessee Valley Authority seeks public comment on its plans to build at least one new nuclear reactor as part of a technology park at the Clinch River Nuclear Site in Tennessee. (WATE)

COAL:
• The retirement of remaining coal-fired power plants will likely coincide with declining wholesale prices, experts say. (S&P Global)
• CSX reduces the size of its active locomotive fleet in West Virginia as the volume of coal it hauls drops by more than half since 2010. (Huntington Herald-Dispatch)
• Construction on a road and bridge for an industrial park on a massive former West Virginia surface mine is delayed until this summer. (Coal Valley News)
• Virginia environmental regulators issue a notice of violation against Norfolk Southern for an October train derailment that spilled tons of coal into the Roanoke River. (Roanoke Times)

CLIMATE:
• A Florida climate coalition pushes a statewide clean-energy plan as a post-pandemic job creator and effective way to lower risks from climate change. (Florida Phoenix)
• Exxon Mobil pledges to spend $3 billion by 2025 to reduce carbon emissions, but its reliance on unproven carbon capture technology disappoints investors who hoped for a more meaningful strategic shift. (Bloomberg)

UTILITIES: An Alabama city hires Alabama Power for a $9.4 million project to upgrade its electricity, natural gas and water systems, but expects to save a net $113,000 in annual utility expenses, even after accounting for project costs. (Hoover Sun)

COMMENTARY:
• An eastern Kentucky newspaper greets President Biden’s action on climate change with hope, but also skepticism that dwindling fossil fuel-related jobs will be replaced by new economic growth. (Appalachian News-Express)
• Louisiana U.S. Sen. John Kennedy uses a Fox News appearance touting the oil and gas industries to claim that his car is fueled by neither “fairy dust” nor “unicorn urine.” (Daily Beast)

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