Southeast Energy News

Virginia utility gets a windfall from ratepayers

NOTE TO READERS: Southeast Energy News will be taking a break for Labor Day. We will resume on Tuesday, September 3.

UTILITIES: Dominion Energy netted excess profits of more than $277 million last year, and while a new Virginia law allows the utility to spend that money on grid upgrades and renewable energy, some advocates say it should be returned to ratepayers. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A Dominion Energy plan would give schools across Virginia electric school buses by 2030, if the utility can use the energy from the batteries. (WAMU) 

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EMISSIONS: The Trump administration announces plans to roll back Obama-era regulations on methane emissions from energy companies, a move that could have implications for Texas and has divided oil and gas companies. (Texas Tribune, New York Times)

POLITICS: North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions faces a big obstacle — the state’s Republican-led legislature — so his administration looks for work-arounds and short-term wins. (InsideClimate News)

• Residents of a Florida county go solar with the help of a growing solar cooperative. (Sun Sentinel)
• A judge allows a group of Georgia landowners to file a petition against a zoning permit for a solar site. (WALB)
• Duke Energy is in the middle of a debate over whether solar energy causes more air pollution, which environmental groups said the company has argued and the utility denies. (Charlotte Observer)
• A group of students working with a faith organization raise money to put solar panels on a local Catholic school. (The Record)
• A Virginia county forms a solar committee to consider amendments to the county’s comprehensive plan. (Daily Progress)

COAL: No coal companies started in Kentucky within the past five years have posted bonds required by state law to protect miners’ wages, and last year Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration pushed legislation to eliminate the requirement. (Lexington Herald Leader)

COAL ASH: A lawyer for first responders exposed to toxic dust from the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center joins a lawsuit against TVA and contractors over toxic coal ash exposure. (Knoxville News Sentinel)

***SPONSORED LINK: Register now for the Virginia Clean Energy Summit, September 17 in Richmond, Virginia. Governor Northam and 70+ other electeds and experts will speak on Virginia’s energy transformation, covering wind, solar, efficiency, microgrids, EVs, storage, smart buildings, and more.*** 

• A West Virginia conservation group helps residents monitor pipeline construction and cite violations. (WVPB)
• Two Mountain Valley Pipeline protesters in West Virginia are arrested after locking themselves to equipment. (WOAY)
• Austin, Texas, city officials raise concerns about Kinder Morgan’s pipeline affecting water quality in their area. (KXAN)

• U.S. oil refineries along the Gulf of Mexico are closely monitoring the path of Hurricane Dorian, and even though it’s not expected to hit the Gulf, it’s raising natural gas prices. (Reuters, Marketwatch)
Natural gas flaring records are high in West Texas, and some groups want the state to crack down on emissions. (Bloomberg)
• Texas’ energy industry has added jobs and increased oil and gas production in the past year, but there are fears of a slowdown, according to an industry report. (Houston Chronicle)
• West Virginia economic leaders discuss growing the state’s economy with a planned petrochemical hub. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

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