Southeast Energy News

Zinke meets with Carolina lawmakers about offshore drilling concerns

OFFSHORE DRILLING: U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke meets separately with the governors of South Carolina and North Carolina to discuss the states’ opposition to the Trump administrations’ offshore drilling expansion plans. (Post and Courier, News & Observer)

SOLAR:
• A Kentucky House committee sitting on a bill to curb solar power gets three new members — two Republicans and a coal-country Democrat – prompting questions about “vote packing.” (Courier Journal)
• Duke Energy and solar companies resolve differences in their interpretations of last year’s North Carolina energy legislation that left solar projects in danger of never attaching to Duke’s electric grid. (WRAL)
• Dominion Energy’s vice president of business development spearheads the utility company’s rapid push into solar development, which was nearly nonexistent just years ago. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

PIPELINES:
 Virginia water officials will receive a report on how erosion, sediment and rainfall runoff will be regulated before work on the Mountain Valley Pipeline can begin. (Roanoke Times)
• Mountain Valley Pipeline officials agreed to pay $27.5 million to compensate for tree-cutting and other environmental impacts expected from the project’s construction through forests and across mountains in Virginia. (Roanoke Times)

UTILITIES:
• South Carolina’s electric co-ops are interested in buying pieces of Santee Cooper if lawmakers proceed with with a sale of the state-owned utility. (Post and Courier)
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The Tennessee Valley Authority says a judge abused his discretion by ordering a massive coal ash cleanup at a Tennessee power plant. (Associated Press)
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Florida Power & Light and Miami-Dade want to share the cost of building a wastewater treatment facility that would clean up the troubled cooling canal system at Turkey Point’s nuclear reactors, which has been leaking into groundwater. (Miami Herald)
• Alabama regulators say utility customers who are unable to pay higher bills due cold weather can have their accounts placed under temporary financial hardship. (AL.com)

LEGISLATION:
A closer look at Dominion Energy-backed legislation in Virginia that would rewrite of how the state regulates electricity and would upgrade the grid without a firm price tag. (Associated Press)
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Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and Dominion Energy use the assistance of a mediator in private discussions over controversial bills that would affect the company’s profits and how much money it will return to customers in the future. (Richmond Times Dispatch)

POLITICS: The likely front-runner in South Carolina’s gubernatorial race says he can get back the roughly $2 billion utility customers paid for the state’s now-failed nuclear project. (Associated Press)

PIPELINES:
• Fifteen people were arrested in North Carolina after refusing to leave Gov. Roy Cooper’s office in protest of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project. (WSOC TV)
• A judge rules that Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards’ office complied with the state’s public records law in responding to an environmental group’s request for documents about the Bayou Bridge pipeline project. (Associated Press)

COAL: The coal industry isn’t back and its long-term decline in Appalachia will have ripple effects on businesses, health, education and the population, researchers from Tennessee and West Virginia say. (News Sentinel)

COMMENTARY:
• A newspaper editorial urges caution as South Carolina lawmakers take action in the wake of the state’s failed multi-billion nuclear project, saying “getting it right is more important than doing it quickly.” (Post and Courier)
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The director of a public policy and advocacy group explains why South Carolina should avoid a “shotgun marriage” with Virginia-based Dominion Energy, which has proposed buying the state-owned utility following the failure of its Summer nuclear project. (Post and Courier)
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An energy expert and solar energy advocate say there are misconceptions about private solar reform efforts in Kentucky, but changing the compensation structure is important to ensuring solar energy growth and keeping utility costs fair. (Courier Journal)
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The president of a Chamber of Commerce in North Carolina opposes the Trump administration’s plan to expand offshore drilling, saying the state’s tourism depends on a healthy, oil-free ocean and coast. (News & Record)

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