Southeast Energy News

Offshore oil and gas workers evacuate ahead of Hurricane Zeta

POLICY: North Carolina’s down-ballot races for lieutenant governor and the state legislature could shape the future of climate and clean energy policy in the state. (Energy News Network) 

OIL & GAS:
• Energy firms evacuate workers from offshore rigs as the Gulf Coast readies for Hurricane Zeta. (Reuters)
• President Donald Trump considers ordering an economic analysis of hydraulic fracturing to spotlight the issue in key battleground states. (Wall Street Journal)

PIPELINES: Environmental groups ask an appeals court to formally review the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s opinion that the Mountain Valley Pipeline will not significantly affect endangered species. (Roanoke Times)

SOLAR:
• A Texas county designates a reinvestment zone that opens the door for a possible tax abatement on a proposed $200 million, 200 MW solar farm. (Austin American-Statesman)
• A Texas regulator approves tax incentives for a 200 MW solar farm near Houston. (Houston Business Journal)
• A southern Virginia city completes a 14 MW solar project, its largest to date. (Virginia Business)

UTILITIES:
• NextEra, the world’s largest solar and wind power generator, ramps up investment as it overtakes ExxonMobil in market value and becomes the world’s most valuable energy company. (Economist, The Hustle)
• The possible sale of South Carolina’s state-owned Santee Cooper utility emerges as an issue in a down-ballot state house race. (Post and Courier)
• The decline in electricity use will likely continue even after the coronavirus pandemic ends, according to a Columbia University study. (Houston Chronicle)

GRID: Appalachian Power will build and relocate four miles of electric transmission lines in southern West Virginia to make them more accessible and reduce the potential for landslides. (WSAZ)

COAL: The Trump administration finalizes a coal industry-backed rule that changes the timeline for how states respond to reports of mining violations. (Bloomberg Law)

COMMENTARY:
• Natural gas producers have only a brief window to reduce their carbon emissions or risk being replaced by solar and wind power, say two energy lawyers. (Houston Chronicle)
• Texas lawmakers must use “smart, market-based regulations” to guide the state’s oil and gas industry as renewables continue to grow, writes an editorial board. (Dallas Morning News)
• Duke Energy’s decision to burn 6 million tons of coal ash threatens the health of nearby residents and calls into question the utility’s dedication to environmental justice, writes an environmental advocacy group. (Appalachian Voices)

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