Southeast Energy News

Settlement reached over Mississippi ‘clean coal’ debacle

UTILITIES: Mississippi regulators unanimously approve a settlement with Mississippi Power over its failed billion-dollar Kemper “clean coal” project. The deal ends years of contention and should result on average in a 2.4 percent drop in residential bills. (Mississippi Business Journal)

MORE: A Virginia lawmaker urges colleagues in a House floor speech “to protect the little guy” and block a utility regulation overhaul backed by Gov. Ralph Northam, Dominion Energy and some environmental groups. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

PIPELINES:
• The controversial Sabal Trail pipeline in Georgia could be shut down today over questions of whether federal regulators appropriately considered climate change when approving the project. (WABE)
• North Carolina lawmakers will not decide how to spend a nearly $58 million fund being set up to mitigate the environmental impacts of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. (WRAL)
• The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission asks an appeals court to stay a mandate that could potentially shut down or cease construction of pipelines in the Southeast. (Platts)
• A Virginia House subcommittee kills legislation that would have increased oversight and accountability of natural gas pipelines as utility companies prepare to construct the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines. (Roanoke Times)
• Work in West Virginia related to the Mountain Valley Pipeline project appears likely to begin following a federal court’s denial of a stay request by environmental groups. (Metro News)

COAL:
• Occupational safety researchers in Appalachia found the biggest black lung cluster ever reported, though “it’s still an underestimate.” (NPR)
• A coal miner dies at a West Virginia mine, the state’s first mining fatality this year following eight deaths in 2017. (WV News)
• A new study from West Virginia University and the University of Tennessee shows King Coal has lost his crown for good and that production will remain much lower than historical figures. (Montgomery Herald)

NUCLEAR:
• A South Carolina Senate committee delays a vote that would have given state utility regulators more time to review SCANA’s handling of the now-failed Summer nuclear project, which could means a deadline could pass that allows customers to be charged for construction costs. (Post and Courier)
• Industry officials tell House lawmakers that small modular reactors could be a “game changer” for the U.S. nuclear energy sector after years of decline and in the wake of the now-failed Summer nuclear project in South Carolina. (Utility Dive)

FRACKING: A Florida Senate subcommittee approves a measure that would ban fracking, though the proposal remains sidelined in the House as the 60-day legislative session nears its midpoint. (Pensacola News Journal)

CLIMATE: Military installations around New Orleans are preparing for climate change, despite President Trump removing it from the administration’s national security strategy. (Times-Picayune)

SOLAR: Replacing tobacco farms with solar panels would yield high monetary returns and save human lives, according to researchers who studied tobacco farmland in North Carolina. (Big Think)

OFFSHORE DRILLING: Pressure to oppose an offshore drilling expansion is mounting for Georgia’s Republican Gov. Nathan Deal, who is the only governor of a coastal state who has yet to take a stance. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

OIL:  At least 1,000 gallons of oil from an above-ground storage tank spilled into an Asheville, North Carolina, river on Sunday. (Citizen-Times)

WIND: A team of researchers that includes the University of South Carolina are using shark scales to design better wind turbines. (phys.org)

COMMENTARY:
• Despite the Trump administration, Americans are choosing to ride the wave of clean energy that is remaking the energy industry in the U.S. and around the world, two guest columnists write. (Energy News Network)
• An editorial board explains why renewable energy has become competitive — and fossil fuel producers realize this. (News & Observer)

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