Southeast Energy News

Pruitt disregards science board, declares biomass ‘carbon neutral’

RENEWABLES: The debate over North Carolina’s clean energy transition took center stage at the state’s annual energy conference. Here are seven takeaways. (Southeast Energy News)

BIOMASS: EPA chief Scott Pruitt told forest industry leaders in Georgia that the EPA will consider the burning of biomass for energy ”carbon neutral,” which is a contentious debate among scientists. (Washington Post)

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• Auditors say SCANA and SCG&E were “relatively inexperienced or reluctant to act” when they warned the utilities that contractors were bungling their nuclear project two years before it failed. (Post & Courier)
• The South Carolina House may pass a plan to cut SCE&G rates despite the governor’s threat to veto it. (The State)

• North Carolina’s Roanoke Electric Cooperative launches a community solar program targeted at customers struggling to pay their electric bills. (Roanoke-Chowan News Herald)
• Some South Carolina solar employees worry about job security after the legislature failed to pass a bill raising the state’s solar energy cap. (WSPA)

ENERGY STORAGE: A new home community in Wendell, North Carolina will sell homeowners Tesla Powerwalls to pair with rooftop solar systems. (Builder Magazine)

WIND: President Trump has pushed fossil fuels but hasn’t been hostile toward offshore wind. The industry is expanding off the coasts of several states, including Virginia. (Associated Press)

PIPELINES: West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice signs an executive order intended to expedite the pipeline permitting approval process. (WV News)

COAL: President of the National Mining Association Hal Quinn says his organization has lobbied hard to push pro-coal policies under the Trump administration. (The Hill)

COAL ASH: Clean water advocates offer tours to raise awareness about the risks of Dominion Energy’s coal ash ponds to Virginia waterways. (Courthouse News Service)

OFFSHORE DRILLING: Drilling in the Gulf of Mexico is ramping up quickly, meaning deepwater oil and gas investment could be rebounding. (E&E News, subscription)

OVERSIGHT: South Carolina lawmakers begin a search for three utility commission members. (Post & Courier)

POLITICS: A new poll shows ex-coal baron Don Blankenship’s chances are fading in the West Virginia Republican primary, which is two weeks away. (Politico)

Correction: Roanoke Electric Cooperative is based in North Carolina. An earlier version of this article misidentified its location.

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