Southeast Energy News

Report: Russians stirred opposition to Florida pipeline on social media

PIPELINES: Russian agents used social media to stir up protests against Florida’s Sabal Trail pipeline, among other efforts seeking to undermine U.S. energy markets. (Palm Beach Post)

• A North Carolina environmental regulator says Gov. Roy Cooper’s deal with Atlantic Coast Pipeline developers to create a $58 million economic development fund has nothing to do with key project permits. (Associated Press)
• Lawyers for the Mountain Valley Pipeline ask a judge to order the removal of protesters sitting in trees along its route in West Virginia. (Roanoke Times)

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POLITICS: A mediator called in by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam to help negotiate a controversial utility rate overhaul bill charged the governor’s office $300 per hour, totaling $12,900. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

• South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster asks Santee Cooper for all contracts with lobbyists and all of their emails from the start of 2017, as the state continues to grapple with the failed Summer nuclear project. (Associated Press)
• The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission wants more reviews at three Tennessee Valley Authority nuclear plants following safety and regulatory inspections. (Times Free Press)

• The Trump administration’s plan to expand U.S. offshore drilling threatens more than 2.5 million coastal jobs for roughly two years worth of oil, according to an ocean conservation nonprofit. (Huffington Post)
• Virginia lawmakers worry proposed drilling off the state’s coast could bolster Florida efforts to relocate an aircraft carrier. (WTKR)
• Strong opposition to expanded drilling off North Carolina’s coast continues ahead of Friday’s deadline for public comments. (Public Radio East)

SOLAR: A South Carolina House committee approves a bill that could make it more expensive for homeowners to install rooftop solar panels by eventually eliminating subsidies. (The State)

WIND: SWEPCO utility, which serves Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas, questions a media campaign against its new wind power project. (Arkansas Times)

CARBON TAX: Nearly two dozen conservative student groups from U.S. colleges, including Clemson University in South Carolina and North Carolina State University, work together in support of a carbon tax. (New York Times)

RATES: Duke Energy Carolinas wants an 11.6 percent rate hike, while North Carolina’s utility customer advocate says regulators should cut rates almost 3 percent. (Charlotte Business Journal)

COAL ASH: Environmentalists say the EPA’s proposed changes to coal ash regulations would give states and utilities more flexibility in deciding how coal ash is stored, effectively gutting Obama-era safeguards. (WFAA)

• Coal country could be harmed if President Trump imposes tariffs on steel and aluminum. (Gant News)
• A coal train derails in Kentucky, though no coal was spilled. (KFVS)

COMMENTARY: Addressing climate change is not something businesses can do alone — lawmakers need to enact strong policies that support clean energy, writes a climate and land manager at Mars Inc. (Roanoke Times)

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