Southeast Energy News

Virginia governor signs major clean energy legislation into law

POLICY: Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signs the Clean Economy Act into law and amends another law so that the state is required to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade program among northeastern states. (WDBJ) 

PIPELINES: Atlantic Coast Pipeline opponents hope the project will be stopped by a new Virginia law requiring regulators to consider whether pipeline capacity is needed for reliability before approving projects. (Energy News Network)

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COAL:
• Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the coal industry pressures Congress to cut the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund by 55% and suspend a fee to clean up abandoned mines. (Washington Post)
• Mining and public health experts raise alarms about keeping coal mines open during the pandemic, which puts miners and communities at risk. (Beckley Register-Herald)

OIL & GAS:
• One person was injured by an explosion Friday at Valero Energy’s 125,000 barrel-per-day refinery in Meraux, Louisiana. (Reuters)
• The Trump administration has said a major petrochemical storage facility near Houston is a model for the upper Ohio River Valley, even though it has a long history of explosions and environmental violations. (InsideClimate News)

OFFSHORE DRILLING:
• Ten years after Deepwater Horizon, the federal office that regulates offshore drilling is riddled with staff distrust and management problems. (E&E News, subscription)
• The Trump administration rejects the offshore oil industry’s push to waive federal royalty payments because of the price crash, instead instructing them to apply for waivers lease-by-lease. (E&E News, subscription) 

SOLAR: A western North Carolina county plans to cut spending during the pandemic, including $50,000 for new solar panels. (Asheville Citizen-Times)

NUCLEAR: As more Plant Vogtle workers become sick with COVID-19, Southern Company says the project’s progress may be disrupted. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

UTILITIES: Legislation stalls in South Carolina as lawmakers continue to argue over whether to sell utility Santee Cooper. (Associated Press) 

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