Southeast Energy News

Political feud over failed S.C. nuclear project charges flares up

NUCLEAR: South Carolina House lawmakers accuse the Senate of allowing SCANA to cheat its customers and vote for a second time to stop the utility from charging for the failed Summer nuclear project.  (Post and Courier)
MORE:
• South Carolina Henry McMaster nominates a close ally, former state Attorney General Charlie Condon, as chairman of Santee Cooper — a move to ensure the utility will be sold. (Post and Courier)
• Georgia’s long-delayed Vogtle nuclear project may become operational considerably ahead of the schedule announced last fall when a new contractor took over the troubled project. (Engineering News-Record)

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OFFSHORE DRILLING: An analysis shows the risk of oil spills from expanded offshore drilling would threaten hundreds of thousands of jobs and tens of billions of dollars in gross domestic product from Virginia to Florida. (Southeast Energy News)

PIPELINES:
• North Carolina Republicans want Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper or his aides to testify under oath about an agreement his administration negotiated with the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. (News & Observer)
• A federal appeals court holds a hearing next week to review a judge’s order that halted construction of a portion of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline in Louisiana. (WRAL)
A look inside opponents’ fight over the Bayou Bridge Pipeline project in Louisiana’s environmentally fragile Atchafalaya Basin. (Pacific Standard)

RATES:
• A federal appeals court sides with FERC in a Louisiana case that would have opened the door for millions of dollars in customer refunds. (Platts)
• A Duke Energy grid rider in North Carolina would increase electric rates about 1.5 percent per year for a decade on top of the 16.7 percent base rate increase the company asked regulators to approve last year. (WRAL)

COAL ASH:
• Some Tennessee residents oppose changes to EPA regulations that allow plants more time to dispose of coal ash. (Tennessean)
• After reports of arsenic in wells, the Tennessee Valley Authority says no contaminants were found in the Memphis aquifer that supplies the city with water. (Memphis Daily News)
• A bill extending the moratorium on the permanent closure of coal ash ponds passes the Virginia House and heads to Gov. Ralph Northam for approval. (Virginian-Pilot)

POLITICS: Critics say West Virginia teachers’ nine-day strike could have been avoided if lawmakers were willing to consider tax increases for oil and gas companies to fund pay raises. (Rewire.News)

WIND: Southwestern Electric Power Company says some opponents of its $4.5 billion Wind Catcher project are disseminating misleading information. (KUAR)

COAL: North Carolina utilities’ are using significantly less coal in favor of natural gas, according to data from the Energy Information Administration. (GateHouse Media)

TAX REFORM: Georgia Power customers will save about $1.2 billion from the federal tax reform legislation Congress passed last year. (Atlanta Business Chronicle)

EMISSIONS: Virginia environmental regulators are seeking public comment on the state’s plan to limit and cap carbon pollution from fossil fuel-burning power plants. (Bristol Herald Courier)

RENEWABLE ENERGY: Facebook plans to build a data center in Georgia that relies on renewable energy. (WTOC)

COMMENTARY:
• Regardless of the outcome of Virginia’s utility overhaul bill, the transition to renewable energy is happening thanks to market forces, says the former director of the Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research. (Roanoke Times)
• In supporting a “boondoggle bill” backed by Dominion Energy, Virginia lawmakers have bought a “pig in a poke,” writes a Virginia energy blogger. (Power for the People VA)

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