Daily Digest

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)

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NUCLEAR:
• The owners of South Carolina’s abandoned Summer nuclear power plant have six weeks to decide whether the project is done for good or if it should be maintained in case prospects improve. (Post and Courier)
• A South Carolina House committee meets Tuesday to consider a bill that would place a consumer watchdog in the state attorney general’s office following the failure of the Summer nuclear project. (Post and Courier)

COAL: A train carrying coal derailed on Saturday in Virginia, with four cars spilling an estimated 400 tons of coal into a creek. (Bristol Herald Courier)

COAL ASH:
• Hearings start today for a Duke Energy rate case that includes hundreds of millions a year to clean up coal ash. (Associated Press)
• New evidence suggests the damage from coal ash contamination in a Kentucky lake is far worse than initially thought, as a federal lawsuit moves forward. (WFPL)
• Kentucky Utilities wants a lawsuit over pollution from a coal ash pond dismissed, while plaintiffs say the energy company and state regulators are ignoring the problem. (Advocate-Messenger)

UTILITIES:
• A federal judge awarded two Duke Energy units nearly $68.5 million in damages from the government’s partial breach of a contract to collect spent nuclear fuel and waste from plants in the Carolinas and Florida. (Law 360, registration required)
• The Orlando Utilities Commission is looking for a new CEO who will emphasize renewable energy sources. (Orlando Sentinel)

NATURAL GAS: South Carolina Electric & Gas has entered an agreement to buy a natural gas fired power plant to replace more than 40 percent of the power the now-abandoned Summer nuclear project was supposed to provide. (WSAV 3)

EMISSIONS: Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe says he is “thrilled” that the state’s Air Pollution Control Board approved regulations to limit carbon emissions from state electric utilities, saying the move will help achieve carbon reductions with minimal impact on customer bills. (Augusta Free Press)

OFFSHORE DRILLING: Republican South Carolina Mark Sanford plans to form a bipartisan coalition to formally ask for changes to a bill that would promote offshore drilling. (McClatchy)

SOLAR: Even with the largest solar-energy project in the state underway, Tennessee still lags neighboring states in solar capacity. (Commercial Appeal)

COMMENTARY:
• The former chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party says Santee Cooper should be sold following the failure of the Summer nuclear project. (Post and Courier)
• An editorial says until the U.S. Department of Defense is no longer the world’s largest consumer of oil, “it’s going to need to be more flexible when it comes to the exploration, development, and production of offshore resources.” (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
• A North Carolina newspaper editorial board says the proposed Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline will slow the conversion to renewable energy. (News & Observer)

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