Southeast Energy News

Virginia House passes utility overhaul with crucial amendment

LEGISLATION: A Dominion Energy spokesman says the company is “still studying” whether it could live with an amended utility regulatory overhaul that passed the Virginia House on Tuesday. The bill would prevent state utilities from charging customers twice for certain expenditures. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

PIPELINES:
• Former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory calls for an ethics investigation of his successor Roy Cooper over a $57.8 million pipeline fund tied to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project. (News & Observer)
• The Atlantic Coast Pipeline route passes near several properties owned by Gov. Cooper, but he says he will ensure he does not benefit from the special $57.8 million fund. (News & Observer)
• Cooper says the legislature’s vote to reroute money from the fund could endanger the fund’s very existence. (WRAL)
• FERC approves a request from Mountain Valley Pipeline developers to begin construction in a Virginia county. (Roanoke Times)

NUCLEAR:
• Having a Republican in the White House and former South Carolina lawmakers in the administration does not appear to be helping those trying to save the state’s Summer nuclear project. (The State)
• The stakes are high for North Carolina in Virginia-based Dominion Energy’s proposed takeover of South Carolina utility SCANA, a Dominion official told North Carolina lawmakers. (Triangle Business Journal)

UTILITIES:
• Environmental and ratepayer groups call for the Tennessee Valley Authority’s CEO to resign after it was discovered the federal utility bought two luxury corporate jets and a helicopter. (Knox News)
• Republican Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander says President Trump’s idea to sell the Tennessee Valley Authority federal utility is a “loony idea” with “zero chance of becoming law.” (Knox News)

ELECTRICITY: South Carolina had the highest average residential electricity expenditures in the country in 2016, with the average customer spending $1,753. (Utility Dive)

OFFSHORE DRILLING: Hundreds gather at the South Carolina statehouse to protest ahead of a federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management public meeting on plans to offer offshore drilling leases. (Post and Courier)

COAL ASH: Dominion Energy still won’t be able to permanently bury 4 million tons of coal ash at a site in Virginia under the terms of an emerging legislative deal, frustrating many residents. (Inside NOVA)

SOLAR: Despite the Trump administration’s recent solar import tariff, the future of Florida’s solar industry looks strong, based on consumer awareness, group dealmaking and municipal policies. (U.S. News)

POLITICS: A progressive revolt is brewing in West Virginia after House of Delegates candidate Lissa Lucas was escorted from the capitol for reading the names of lawmakers who have taken political contribution from the oil and gas industry. (Rolling Stone)

CONSERVATION: Tennessee and Minnesota will take part in a National Governors Association program that helps state officials achieve better energy and water efficiency. (Daily Energy Insider)

COMMENTARY:
• It is uncertain what resources lay off Florida’s coasts, which is why the state should embrace offshore exploration, says the executive director of Florida Petroleum Council. (Pensacola News Journal)
• President Trump’s suggestion to sell the Tennessee Valley Authority federal utility company or its assets makes as much sense as “kicking the family dog,” says a newspaper editorial. (Times Free Press)
• Kentucky’s net metering rules are a renewable-energy subsidy long supported by liberal elites, says the president of the Kentucky Coal Association. (Lexington Herald Leader)

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