Southeast Energy News

Trump flips position on offshore drilling in key election states 

OFFSHORE DRILLING: President Trump signs an executive order reinstating an Obama-era moratorium on oil drilling off the coasts of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. (Post and Courier)

ALSO: Democrats and environmental groups quickly criticized Trump’s move as a self-serving campaign ploy that could easily be reversed again when it’s politically convenient. (Tampa Bay Times)

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EFFICIENCY: An assistant professor at Virginia Tech discusses the importance of designing energy efficient buildings that align with people’s needs. (Energy News Network)

NATURAL GAS:
• Natural gas, much like coal before it, is falling out of favor with everyone from regulators to asset managers amid rapid changes in public opinion. (Bloomberg)
• As West Virginia officials consider a loan guarantee today for a major power plant, local officials raise concerns about a reported restriction that would require it to use a percentage of natural gas produced in the state. (Herald-Star)

UTILITIES:
• A lobbying organization for Florida Power & Light is among those linked to a “dark money” group financing a constitutional amendment that would make it harder to amend the state constitution in the future. (Orlando Sentinel)
• Dominion Energy wants to increase rates in South Carolina in part to cover the cost of retrofitting coal-fired power plants to burn natural gas. (Post and Courier)

SOLAR:
• Gulf Power and the city of Pensacola, Florida, partner on a demonstration project to install solar canopies that provide shade and generate power. (WUWF)
• An Austin-area residential development touted as Texas’s first “zero-energy capable community” selects a company to manage solar installations. (Solar Power World)

STORAGE: A Duke Energy official discusses the utility’s ambitious plans to expand battery storage across the Carolinas. (Charlotte Business Journal, subscription)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• A Georgia county adds two electric cars to its vehicle fleet in an effort to reduce emissions as well as fuel and maintenance costs. (Patch)
• A Georgia city gets its first public electric vehicle charging stations, part of a utility’s plan to electrify a corridor along U.S. Highway 441. (Union-Recorder)

CLEAN ENERGY:
• The U.S. Department of Agriculture announces more than $760,000 in funding for 22 rural energy projects in West Virginia. (Associated Press)
• A Texas native says she is settling in as the new director of the Arkansas Advanced Energy Association, which promotes renewable power, energy efficiency, and other advanced energy technology. (Arkansas Business)

TECHNOLOGY: A Birmingham, Alabama, energy tech accelerator program picks 10 startup companies for its inaugural class. (Bham Now)

CLIMATE: A new report from a nonpartisan policy institute urges North Carolina leaders to simultaneously address climate change and systemic racism. (Coastal Review Online)

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POLITICS:
• In Florida, President Trump tries to recast his dubious environmental record as climate change emerges as a political issue in the state. (Los Angeles Times)
• Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Amy McGrath tours Eastern Kentucky in part to tout a $100 million plan to clean up abandoned coal mines and revitalize communities affected by their closure. (WYMT)

COMMENTARY:
• A South Carolina state senator says lawmakers should lay a foundation for moving away from its vertically integrated utility model. (Post and Courier)
The value of human life must have a place in conversations about oil and gas policy in Texas and elsewhere, an advocate writes. (EARTHblog)
• A Kentucky farmer writes that a proposed solar farm could provide valuable, steady income to farmers as well as annual tax revenue. (Winchester Sun)

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