Southeast Energy News

Regan says his EPA will build consensus with states to fight climate change

OVERSIGHT: During his Senate confirmation hearing, President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency builds on his North Carolina reputation as a consensus builder by pledging collaboration with states and more urgency in addressing climate change. (Reuters, Washington Post)

ALSO: EPA nominee Michael Regan’s negotiation of clean-up requirements after Duke Energy’s 2014 coal-ash spill in North Carolina may provide a template for federal regulations, say environmentalists. (E&E News, subscription)

SOLAR:
• An Arkansas regulator tells state lawmakers that Arkansas is well-positioned to become a national leader in solar power but warns that necessary policy changes to make the transition will be opposed by more traditional energy suppliers. (Talk Business & Politics)
• The Tennessee Valley Authority approves a new rate structure that allows companies that buy power from it to charge additional fees for customers using solar, triggering criticism from clean-energy advocates. (PV Magazine)
• A South Carolina manufacturer announces the installation of a 625 KW solar project that will offset its energy usage by more than half. (news release)

WIND: A lawsuit alleges that Virginia regulators and Apex Clean Energy cut procedural corners in their hurry to fast-track approval for a proposed wind farm in the state’s western mountains. (Roanoke Times)

OIL & GAS:
• Oklahoma-based shale oil and gas producer Chesapeake Energy cuts 15% of its workforce as it prepares to emerge from bankruptcy. (Reuters)
• An oil company applies for permits to drill in Florida’s Big Cypress National Preserve, drawing protests from environmental groups. (National Parks Traveler, Center for Biological Diversity news release)
• After a 10-year truce, neighbors near a Texas gas well site complain that an oil and gas company has resumed sending large trucks down their residential road instead of using an agreed-upon alternative route. (Fort Worth Weekly)

UTILITIES:
• An electric utility in Memphis, Tennessee, sorts through political complications and regulatory uncertainty as it explores breaking away from the Tennessee Valley Authority. (The Commercial Appeal)
• After Entergy stopped payment to a Black-owned radio station over its coverage of a proposed natural gas-fired power plant, the utility becomes part of a citywide discussion in New Orleans over the failure of businesses to support Black- and Latina-owned media outlets. (NOLA.com)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• The Tennessee Valley Authority and state regulators will partner to install electric vehicle charging stations every 50 miles along Tennessee’s interstates and major roads. (Knoxville News-Sentinel)
• A new study shows North Carolina is making progress on electric vehicle adoption but needs policy changes to make them more accessible for people in low-income and environmentally distressed areas. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• Virginia lawmakers who want to create more incentives for motorists to switch to electric vehicles struggle to find funding in a state budget constrained by the pandemic. (Virginia Mercury)

COAL: Federal lawmakers introduce legislation to direct the Labor Department to devise and implement COVID-19 protections for miners. (Huntington Herald-Dispatch)

STORAGE: A Texas company proposes building a battery storage facility in southern Virginia to house excess energy from a nearby Dominion Energy substation. (Southside Sentinel)

POLITICS:
• A West Virginia congresswoman says she will use her recent appointment to the U.S. House Ways and Means committee to advocate for the state’s coal industry. (WSAZ)
• A Louisiana U.S. Senator takes exception to President Biden’s description of the industrial corridor between New Orleans and Baton Route as “Cancer Alley” during a speech when signing executive orders on climate change last month. (NOLA.com)

COMMENTARY: A Florida state lawmaker calls for opposition to offshore drilling and an emphasis on clean-energy jobs to combat climate change. (Sun Port Charlotte)

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