FERC chairman says opponents delay U.S. gas pipeline approvals

PIPELINES: FERC chairman Neil Chatterjee says environmental groups are delaying approval of natural gas pipelines, including the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, because they “understand how to use all of the levers of federal and state law to frustrate pipeline development.” (Reuters)

ALSO: Opponents of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline highlight the project’s environmental justice impact, pointing out that more than a quarter of North Carolina’s Native Americans live along its proposed path. (Southeast Energy News)

***SPONSORED LINK: Power to the People: Fueling the Revolution for Energy Justice Conference, in Memphis on Dec. 7, will look at the health, economic and housing impacts of energy costs, particularly on low-income residents and the need to move toward affordable and just energy solutions in the Memphis region. RSVP today! ***

SOLAR:
• Bankrupt Georgia-based solar manufacturer Suniva is evaluating a potential sale, which could influence President Trump’s pending decision on imposing tariffs on imported panels. (Bloomberg)
• Duke Energy has submitted its plan to North Carolina regulators to seek four rounds of bids for new solar as developers tailor projects for Duke’s competitive bid awards. (Charlotte Business Journal, subscription)
• The Arkansas attorney general sided with utility companies over whether rooftop solar customers should receive less compensation for the power they contribute to the grid, while a Republican lawmaker sided with solar advocates in an effort to “encourage Arkansas to embrace distributed solar.” (Arkansas Business, Arkansas Times)

NUCLEAR: The company that built the original Summer nuclear plant in South Carolina discovered numerous problems when its engineers returned in 2016 to assess the construction of two new reactors.

EPA concludes public hearing in West Virginia

PIPELINES: North Carolina has requested more information about the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, this time asking the developers to substantiate economic development claims and address whether the pipeline will be extended into South Carolina. (Southeast Energy News)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: The EPA on Wednesday wrapped up its two-day public hearing in West Virginia on the Clean Power Plan, with many coal advocates voicing support of the proposed repeal as well as miners who suffer from black lung disease who are in favor of the plan. (Bluefield Daily Telegraph, WTOP)

 ***SPONSORED LINK: Power to the People: Fueling the Revolution for Energy Justice Conference, in Memphis on Dec. 7, will look at the health, economic and housing impacts of energy costs, particularly on low-income residents and the need to move toward affordable and just energy solutions in the Memphis region. RSVP today! ***

SOLAR:
• A solar energy advocacy group has outlined its plan to install commercial solar systems in an effort to help boost the economy in southwest Virginia. (Southeast Energy News)
• The Arkansas Public Service Commission will begin hearing testimony today on energy policy that could help determine the fate of solar power in the state.

Climate change gets a hearing in coal country

CLEAN POWER PLAN: Dozens of testifiers at the EPA’s lone hearing on the Clean Power Plan, held in West Virginia, warn of the dangers of disregarding climate change. (Associated Press)

ALSO:
• Health groups and environmentalists criticized the Trump administration’s proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan, and a retired miner with black lung disease told the EPA “We’re dying, literally dying, for you to help us.” (Associated Press, Huffington Post)
• West Virginia’s attorney general opened the first of two days of EPA hearings on the Clean Power Plan, saying it is “disastrous and unlawful,” as he continues working to permanently end climate regulation. (Washington Examiner, Think Progress)
• The director of the Climate & Clean Air program shares the testimony he delivered in West Virginia at the EPA’s public hearings on the Clean Power Plan. (Natural Resources Defense Council)
• West Virginia’s Sierra Club held a panel discussion at the University of Charleston on Tuesday in opposition of the repeal of the Clean Power Plan while the EPA conducted its public hearing nearby. (Register-Herald)

 ***SPONSORED LINK: Power to the People: Fueling the Revolution for Energy Justice Conference, in Memphis on Dec.

Duke Energy says charging customers for coal ash costs is like tire disposal

COAL ASH: The North Carolina Utilities Commission has started its hearings to decide whether Duke Energy will be allowed to charge consumers billions of dollars for the full cost of its coal ash cleanup. (Associated Press)

ALSO:
• Duke Energy says charging North Carolina consumers the full, multi-billion-dollar cost of cleaning up its coal ash is like tire stores charging customers an extra fee to dispose of tires. (Associated Press)
• A Duke Energy official said North Carolina’s 2014 coal ash legislation didn’t necessarily result from its ash spill in one of the state’s rivers, though one lawmaker says that assertion is “flat wrong.” (WRAL)

***SPONSORED LINK: Power to the People: Fueling the Revolution for Energy Justice Conference, in Memphis on Dec. 7, will look at the health, economic and housing impacts of energy costs, particularly on low-income residents and the need to move toward affordable and just energy solutions in the Memphis region. RSVP today! ***

CLEAN POWER PLAN:
• The EPA holds its first of two hearings today in West Virginia on the proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan, with 220 speakers scheduled to speak. (Metro News)
• Experts say the EPA’s proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan is unlikely to fuel a major resurgence in West Virginia’s troubled coal industry.

Information scrubbed from South Carolina nuclear audit

NATURAL GAS: Advocates say Florida’s heavy reliance on natural gas has exposed utility customers to economic risk and market volatility, with hedging already costing Floridians at least $6.9 billion since 2006. (Southeast Energy News)

NUCLEAR:
• Newly disclosed documents show information was removed two years ago from a report about the now-failed Summer nuclear project that would have alerted investors and regulators about some of the project’s problems. (Post and Courier)
• An audit shows a contractor overcharged the TVA by more than $6.8 million to help finish construction at the Watts Bar Nuclear Power Plant in Tennessee. (Times Free Press)
• A South Carolina lawmaker has introduced legislation to drastically shrink the compensation packages for outgoing executives at SCANA. (Post and Courier)

***SPONSORED LINK: Power to the People: Fueling the Revolution for Energy Justice Conference, in Memphis on Dec. 7, will look at the health, economic and housing impacts of energy costs, particularly on low-income residents and the need to move toward affordable and just energy solutions in the Memphis region. RSVP today! ***

UTILITIES: The North Carolina Utilities Commission begins hearings today to determine whether Duke Energy will be allowed to charge consumers nearly $200 million a year for the full cost of cleaning up toxic coal ash pits.

Tennessee officials keep nuclear waste details from public

NOTE TO READERS: Southeast Energy News is taking a break for Thanksgiving. The daily digest will return on Monday, November 28. NUCLEAR: The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has removed data from its website about how much low-level nuclear waste is going into other landfills, saying it is confidential. (Tennessean)

ALSO:
• A small South Carolina county will consider taking legal action against SCANA today because the company’s failed Summer nuclear project will not deliver tens of millions of dollars in annual property fees, as promised. (Post and Courier)
• A federal judge upheld a lawsuit by three environmental groups against Florida Power & Light over alleged water pollution from its Turkey Point nuclear plant.

Atlantic Coast Pipeline construction allowed through two national forests

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: With a deadline less than two weeks away, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper still has not designated a state agency to accept Volkswagen settlement funds that could advance the state’s electric car charging infrastructure. (Southeast Energy News)

PIPELINES:
• The U.S. Forest Service will permit the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline to be built through two national forests. (Daily Progress)
• North Carolina law enforcement officials are expecting “outside agitators” in the coming months to protest the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. (News & Observer)
• Opponents and supporters of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline spoke at a public hearing about the project’s air permit in North Carolina; the period for public comment ends today. (Progressive Pulse)

***SPONSORED LINK: Power to the People: Fueling the Revolution for Energy Justice Conference, in Memphis on Dec.

South Carolina utility wants customers to continue paying for nuclear project

NUCLEAR: The incoming president of South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. said Thursday he wants to implement an immediate 3.5 percent rate reduction, but will still charge its customers for the abandoned Summer power plants over the next 50 years. (Associated Press, Post and Courier)

ALSO:
• Thursday’s proposal from SCE&G will likely make any future nuclear developments even less enticing to developers, while many suggest South Carolina’s failed project foreshadows the future of Georgia’s Vogtle nuclear plant. (Greentech Media)
• The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is considering new safety rules for small modular nuclear reactors. (Utility Dive)

***SPONSORED LINK: Power to the People: Fueling the Revolution for Energy Justice Conference, in Memphis on Dec 7, will look at the health, economic and housing impacts of energy costs, particularly on low-income residents and the need to move toward affordable and just energy solutions in the Memphis region.

New head of U.S. mining safety narrowly confirmed by Senate

OVERSIGHT: The Senate on Wednesday narrowly approved President Trump’s selection of a David Zatezalo, a West Virginia native and retired coal company executive, to oversee U.S. mining safety. (Associated Press)

SOLAR: A Virginia electric cooperative is working to inform members of proposed rate increases as part of a settlement with the Sierra Club, which said the co-op failed to be transparent as well as disregarded the impact on its customers. (Southeast Energy News)

EMISSIONS: Virginia regulators vote on a plan today to reduce carbon emissions from power plants in Virginia and also allow the state to participate in a carbon-trading network. (Associated Press)

FRACKING: The Environmental Protection Agency has allowed chemicals with known health concerns to be used in fracking around the country, including in Arkansas. (Marketplace)

POLICY: Critics of Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s plan to boost coal and nuclear energy sources are ready to file legal challenges should FERC adopt some version of the proposal.

Pipeline opponents flood FERC with requests for new hearings

PIPELINES: Dozens of groups and individuals are challenging FERC’s approval of the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines, asking the commission to revisit seemingly every aspect of the orders approving the projects. (Natural Gas Intel)

ALSO:
• Opponents of three proposed natural gas pipeline projects in the Southeast have asked a federal appeals court to reject FERC’s request to reverse a court decision to vacate project permits. (Natural Gas Intel)
• The NAACP says the Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s proposed route through North Carolina would hurt black residents most. (News & Observer)

CARBON TRADING: Virginia regulators will seek approval on Thursday of a draft proposed rule that would cap and reduce the state’s emissions while joining nine other states in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

CLIMATE: Virginia has become a member of the Under2 Coalition, joining other states in a commitment to take action on climate change during the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Germany.