Daily digest

Trump offshore drilling plan ignites debate among coastal states

OIL & GAS: The Trump administration plans to expand offshore oil and natural gas exploration with the largest auction of offshore leases in U.S. history, including federal waters off Southeast states. (Virginian-Pilot)

• The offshore exploration plan puts the Trump administration at odds with environmental groups as well as with some coastal states such Florida. (New York Times)
• Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers in Florida don’t like the plan to open up waters long closed to offshore drilling there. (Miami Herald)
• Louisiana lawmakers praised the proposal’s potential to boost the economy and energy security, while lawmakers from South Carolina and other states oppose the move for environmental reasons. (The Advocate, Post and Courier)
• Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said the plan to increase the country’s offshore drilling will make the United States “the strongest energy superpower.” (Times-Picayune)
• The Trump administration’s proposal to allow drilling off the Atlantic Coast could make 2018 an even tougher election year for Republicans in coastal states. (McClatchy)
• A map of the lower 48 states shows the areas and years of lease sales of the Trump administration’s offshore drilling plan. (WABE)
• The U.S. Coast Guard is responding to an estimated 2,500 gallons of oil spilled into the Mississippi River in Louisiana on Thursday. (The Advocate)

NUCLEAR: Westinghouse Electric Co., the contractor at the heart of South Carolina’s failed Summer nuclear project, is being sold in a deal valued at about $4.6 billion. (Post and Courier)

POLICY: An analysis explains how two new Democrat senators – including Alabama’s  Doug Jones – could affect U.S. energy policy. (Washington Post)

• Virginia concrete makers there say there is a significant demand for Dominion Energy’s coal ash, contradicting a report by the company. (Southeast Energy News)
A Virginia county’s new legislative delegation is working on alternatives to Dominion Energy’s plan to permanently bury 4 million tons of coal ash there. (Inside NOVA)

COAL: West Virginia coal companies, among others in the United States, saw a boost in production in 2017, reversing a two-year decline. (Associated Press)

PIPELINES: Two federal agencies have taken action to advance the Mountain Valley Pipeline project in Virginia. (Roanoke Times)

• A South Carolina newspaper editorial says the only upside to the Trump administration’s plan to increase offshore drilling is that it has created more opponents to offshore drilling. (Post and Courier)
• An official with the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League examines the root cause of the multi-billion-dollar failure of the Summer nuclear project. (Statehouse Report)
• A former South Carolina newspaper editor says despite the failure of the state’s nuclear project and the troubled nuclear project in Georgia, it is in the country’s best interest that the projects not be permanently abandoned. (Post and Courier)

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