Southeast Energy News

Supreme Court: TVA can’t use government immunity against lawsuits

OVERSIGHT: North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper nominates three new members to the state’s utility board, which could reshape the commission as it navigates issues like coal ash cleanup, renewables, and Duke Energy’s monopoly. (Energy News Network)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• A bill that would hike annual registration fees for plug-in vehicles stalls in the North Carolina legislature, while one that would fine drivers for blocking charging stations moves forward. (Energy News Network)
• A Tesla service center opens in Pearl, Mississippi. (Jackson Clarion Ledger)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join utility and energy professionals at the region’s largest energy event, Solar Power Southeast, May 29-30 in Atlanta. Back for a 5th year, over 700 attendees and 70 exhibitors will be in attendance. You can expect to hear from the utility, private sector, and non-profit leaders from throughout the Southeast region. ***

UTILITIES:
• The Supreme Court rules that the Tennessee Valley Authority cannot use government immunity to stave off lawsuits over wrongdoing related to the electricity business. (Knoxville News Sentinel)
• Under a Louisville, Kentucky, utility’s next rate hike, customers will help pay for membership dues at trade groups that lobby against environmental protections and small-scale renewables. (WFPL)
• Duke Energy asks Florida regulators to cover $221 million in damages from Hurricane Michael with tax savings instead of charging customers. (Tampa Bay Times)

SOLAR: The mayor of Chattanooga, Tennessee, says he will work to make the city more solar friendly and energy efficient. (WDEF)

COAL: The Justice Department opens an investigation into Southern Company’s failed coal-fired power plant. (Associated Press)

OFFSHORE DRILLING: The Trump administration is expected to ease offshore drilling safety requirements put in place after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil explosion and spill. (Bloomberg)

PIPELINES:
• Texas lawmakers consider two bills targeting environmental activists that would make civil disobedience at oil and gas sites a second-degree felony. (Texas Observer)
• The CEO of Magellan says he is “fairly optimistic” about starting a pipeline in Midland, Texas, to carry crude to Houston. (Reuters)

OIL & GAS:
• Developers prepare to break ground on a natural gas plant in northern West Virginia that is set to open in 2021. (WBOY)
• Louisiana legislators consider a bill that would allow chemical and oil and gas industry facilities to conduct voluntary pollution audits that would remain secret and grant legal immunity for some violations. (Times-Picayune)
• The EPA said it will not strengthen regulations on oil and gas industry waste, which could affect communities in Appalachia where the industry is booming. (WVPB)

EMINENT DOMAIN: Two proposals moving through the Texas legislature would provide more transparency and protect landowners fighting eminent domain. (My San Antonio)

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