Daily digest

South Carolina utility wants customers to continue paying for nuclear project

NUCLEAR: The incoming president of South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. said Thursday he wants to implement an immediate 3.5 percent rate reduction, but will still charge its customers for the abandoned Summer power plants over the next 50 years. (Associated Press, Post and Courier)

• Thursday’s proposal from SCE&G will likely make any future nuclear developments even less enticing to developers, while many suggest South Carolina’s failed project foreshadows the future of Georgia’s Vogtle nuclear plant. (Greentech Media)
• The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is considering new safety rules for small modular nuclear reactors. (Utility Dive)

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COAL ASH: The Tennessee Valley Authority’s CEO said Thursday it would cost $900 million and take 24 years to comply with a court order to move its coal ash, though some question whether these estimates are too high. (Associated Press)

• Atlantic Coast Pipeline developers will start acquiring private property in North Carolina that lies in the path of its proposed 600-mile natural gas pipeline. (Charlotte Observer)
• A federal judge said on Thursday he would not be granting a request from Mountain Valley Pipeline officials to fast-track one of two lawsuits against hundreds of landowners seeking to use eminent domain. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

EMISSIONS: The Virginia State Air Pollution Control Board unanimously approved a draft regulation to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the state’s power plants and add Virginia to a regional carbon-trading network. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

• A North Carolina energy group filed an appeal to the state Supreme Court, asking it to reverse North Carolina regulators’ rulings against the group’s solar-power deal with a Greensboro church. (Winston-Salem Journal)
Florida Power & Light and Audubon Florida are partnering to ensure the utility’s solar project sites are compatible with plants, birds, and pollinating bees and butterflies. (Solar Industry)
The U.S. solar industry faces a very different landscape than it did a year ago, and President Trump is most responsible for the changes. (E&E News)

• A committee of West Virginia lawmakers advanced a bill that says regular financial disclosures to investors about the performance of publicly traded corporations would not include details about coal mining company safety violations or worker deaths. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• A federal agency decided this week to withdraw recommendations made in the aftermath of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, leaving offshore oil rig workers to remain without broad whistleblower protections. (Houston Chronicle)

UTILITIES: The Tennessee Valley Authority will give employees $112.5 million in performance bonuses, following a year of company cost savings, strong safety records, lower electric rates and low carbon emissions. (Knoxville News Sentinel)

• Despite the rapid capacity expansion for natural gas in the United States, regulatory roadblocks are hampering the construction of even more terminals, says a guest columnist. (The Hill)
• A guest columnist says drilling in South Florida persists in the pursuit of profit, but is unnecessary and would risk the already imperiled ecosystems of the Everglades. (Gainsville Sun)

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