Daily Digest

‘Breathtaking’ legislation would gut West Virginia coal mine inspections

UTILITIES: A new report, conducted by a respected modeling firm using Duke Energy’s own data, finds ratepayers in the Carolinas could save $10 billion if the utility adopted more solar power, closed coal plants ahead of schedule and abandoned a proposed nuclear plant. (Southeast Energy News)

ALSO: Without debate, a Senate committee unanimously approves two bills sought by Florida Power & Light that effectively overturn recent court rulings. (Miami Herald)

POLITICS: A study by a conservative group has found that North Carolina voters support the growth of renewable energy. (Coastal Review Online)

COAL:
• A new West Virginia bill, described as “breathtaking in its scope” by one critic, dramatically weakens mining inspections, replacing them with “compliance visits.” (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• The Kentucky Senate gave final approval on Tuesday to reduce coal mine inspections. (Associated Press)
• Recently released employment data further show the unlikelihood of President Trump fulfilling his promise to revive the coal industry. (Washington Post)

SOLAR: A North Carolina county considers tighter restrictions on solar farms, which are already required to be 1,000 feet from certain structures. (Wilkes Journal-Patriot)

WIND: An advocacy group breaks town the process for tomorrow’s auction of North Carolina offshore wind leases. (Southern Alliance for Clean Energy)

PIPELINES: A pipeline project in Georgia faces more backlash as landowners say Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. has demanded they sell or have their property taken through eminent domain. (WABE)

NUCLEAR:
• Kentucky’s governor says he will not veto a bill that would lift the state’s decades-old ban on nuclear power. (Associated Press)
• A public meeting will discuss the continuing cleanup of a decommissioned nuclear power plant near Fayetteville. (Arkansas Online)

TRANSPORTATION: A FedEx official talks about “practical sustainability” in Tennessee, after the company implemented hybrid-electric vehicles and pushed green legislation for commercial trucking. (Kingston Times-News)

EFFICIENCY:
• High-efficiency windows that reflect sunlight are blamed for starting several fires in North Carolina. (WRAL)
• Arkansas lawmakers listen to clean energy groups as the state considers authorizations to fund loans for 100 percent of energy saving programs in commercial buildings or multifamily residential units. (Arkansas Business)

GRID: The PJM Interconnection says a proposed Virginia transmission line is still needed for reliability despite lower power forecasts. (Daily Press)

COMMENTARY:
• “Businesses and homeowners deserve a choice about where their energy comes from” and Alabama’s energy policies should reflect that. (AL.com)
• “In an ideal world, neither bill would have a chance,” as Florida lawmakers consider two bills that address Florida Power & Light’s unfavorable court rulings. (Sun Sentinel)
• Why cuts to the EPA will be harmful for Tennessee. (Knoxville News Sentinel)
• “Gas-guzzlers and other dirty-energy users will soon belong to the past, despite the policies of the current administration.” (Greensboro News & Record)

CORRECTION: An item in yesterday’s digest did not include the party affiliation of three Lieutenant Governor candidates in Virginia who oppose the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. They are all Democrats.

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