Daily Digest

Dominion to regulators: accept our takeover or watch SCANA go bankrupt

NUCLEAR: South Carolina utility customers would owe another $2.8 billion over the next two decades for the now-failed Summer nuclear project if Virginia-based Dominion Energy buys the state-owned utility’s parent company. (The State)

ALSO:
• Dominion Energy’s top executive told South Carolina utility regulators in a presentation Thursday that state leaders either could accept Dominion’s proposed takeover of the SCANA utility company or watch it go bankrupt. (Post and Courier)
• South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster wants utility customers to stop being charged, or be charged less, for the Summer project while policymakers work to make payment decisions. (Post and Courier)
• Some analysts say Virginia-based Dominion Energy’s plan to buy South Carolina utility SCANA shows shareholder gains and few ratepayer benefits. (Utility Dive)

PIPELINES:
• North Carolina regulators announced more setbacks for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, delaying a decision on its clean water certificate as well as other environmental permits. (Southeast Energy News)
• Three Virginia lawmakers have introduced legislation to protect landowners, water sources and public safety as the controversial Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines near construction. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
• 
Environmental groups are suing to block construction permits awarded by the Army Corps of Engineers for Louisiana’s Bayou Bridge oil pipeline. (Times-Picayune)

OFFSHORE DRILLING:
• Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Florida is no longer included in the Trump administration’s plan to expand offshore drilling, but there could be wiggle room, depending on how “Florida” is defined. (Bloomberg)
• The top Democrat on a U.S. Senate committee that oversees the Interior Department says Secretary Ryan Zinke’s actions related to the proposed expansion of offshore drilling may have violated federal laws. (Inside Climate News)

WIND:
• The U.S. offshore wind industry is gaining momentum with new projects being planned along the Atlantic coast, including near North Carolina, after years of delays. (Yale Environment 360)
• Federal officials say the Trump administration’s proposal to expand offshore drilling would not interfere with the leasing of those waters for wind turbines. (Newsday)

COAL:
• The Energy Information Administration predicts increased U.S. natural gas production to have its highest year-over-year increase in 2018, which will likely continue driving the trend away from coal. (Utility Dive)
• A look at the coal mining region of Central Appalachia shows that specializing in coal has left the region without many other economic opportunities. (Marketplace)

COAL ASH: A group of North Carolina residents and lawmakers are asking the state government to increase funding to more strictly monitor coal ash pollution. (WRAL)

UTILITIES: A former executive at a Kentucky coal company has been appointed by President Trump to the Tennessee Valley Authority board of directors. (Associated Press)

RATES: Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson sent a letter to state regulators on Thursday requesting that they pass on the benefits of new corporate tax cut by lowering customers’ utility rates. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

COMMENTARY: A guest columnist says Florida is unique in giving its utility consumers zero choice in how they get their electricity – and it’s time for that to change. (Tallahassee Democrat)

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