Southeast Energy News

Seismic testing plan appears to be dead in the water

OIL & GAS:
• President Trump’s plan to allow seismic blasting to locate oil deposits off the Atlantic Coast appears dead after a court decision Thursday. (Washington Post)
• Plugging and cleaning up abandoned oil and gas wells in Texas could cost companies and taxpayers up to $117 billion, a report says. (Houston Chronicle)

WIND: A Bureau of Ocean Energy Management official confirms that President Trump’s offshoring drilling moratorium in the South Atlantic covers all energy leasing, including offshore wind. (Coastal Review Online)

SOLAR:
• An Alabama federal court rejects a lawsuit from environmental groups alleging that new rates set by the Tennessee Valley Authority discourage solar power use. (Law360, subscription)
• Duke Energy Florida will build a 75 megawatt solar farm in Gulf County next year, part of a statewide solar buildout for the utility. (The Star)
• A West Virginia county adopts setback requirements and other rules that pave the way for solar energy projects to be permitted in the county. (The Journal)
• A Florida municipal utility begins to offer customers the option to substitute part or all of their electricity with solar power. (Ocala News)

CLEAN ENERGY:
• Virginia regulatory staff estimate the state’s new clean energy law could double electricity bills for Dominion Energy residential customers, but the testimony didn’t quantify savings from energy efficiency and other measures. (Utility Dive)
• A Sierra Club report says retiring four Louisiana coal plants would save $1.1 billion, prevent asthma attacks and annually save about 50 lives. (Solar Power World)

POLITICS:
• As president, Joe Biden could reduce the nation’s oil and gas production, but probably not as much as many hope, analysts say. (InsideClimate News)
• U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, calls wind and solar “silly solutions” to climate change and says nuclear power is a better answer. (Houston Chronicle)

NUCLEAR:
• Texas Gov. Greg Abbott opposes plans to ship radioactive waste from nuclear power plants to sites on the Texas-New Mexico border. (Courthouse News)
• Duke Energy hires a contractor to begin decommissioning and dismantling a defunct Florida nuclear energy plant. (Engineering News-Record)

COAL ASH:
• A federal court dismisses a lawsuit by local governments against the Tennessee Valley Authority and Jacobs Engineering alleging negligence, public nuisance and fraudulent conduct in the wake of the 2008 Kingston coal ash spill. (WUOT)
• A Georgia legislator says new coal ash legislation would need to be different than last year’s defeated bills for him to support it. (WGXA)

PIPELINES: Critics say Virginia environmental regulators are slow-walking a process to develop standards that would help protect muddied waters. (Virginia Mercury)

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