Daily Digest

Duke Energy defends its North Carolina solar contracts

PIPELINES:
• As opponents march to protest the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a lower-profile fight continues over what activists call an “appallingly incomplete” environmental impact statement for the project. (Southeast Energy News)
• Legislation that prohibits the construction of petroleum pipelines along Georgia’s coast passed the state senate late last week. (Savannah Morning News)

SOLAR:
• Duke Energy says the 5-year contracts it’s offering for large utility-scale solar projects do not violate state or federal laws. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• Solar advocates urge Florida lawmakers to move quickly to implement tax breaks approved by voters. (Solar Industry Magazine)

TRANSMISSION: Arkansas Republicans introduce legislation in Congress that would tighten restrictions on eminent domain for transmission projects, potentially blocking a project to deliver wind energy to the Southeast. (Arkansas Online)

COAL ASH:
• Kentucky lawmakers advance a bill that would weaken permitting requirements for coal ash landfills. (WFPL)
• A Kentucky public radio station defends its reporting on proposed coal ash legislation amid criticism from a state agency. (WFPL)
• Georgia lawmakers explain what’s next for coal ash reform after defeat of two bills in the legislature. (Golden Isles News)
• North Carolina officials are asking for public input on Duke Energy’s plans for shuttering nine coal ash ponds. (North Carolina Health News)

COAL:
• The Kentucky House passes a bill that would reduce the number of inspections required at coal mines. (WYMT)
• Coal exports from a Virginia terminal are at their highest levels since March 2015. (Platts)

POLLUTION: The Uniontown, Alabama coal ash dispute is an example of why EPA cuts will hit minority communities hardest. (The Guardian)

OIL AND GAS: 
• ExxonMobil plans to spend $20 billion on refineries and chemical and liquefied natural gas plants along the Gulf Coast, including Louisiana. (Associated Press)
• The first oil lease sale covering the entire Gulf of Mexico since 1983 would offer 73 million acres under a proposal from the federal government. (Associated Press)
• Advocates in Florida point to a recent study on spills as justification for a fracking ban in the state. (WUSF)
• Residents urge officials in a Florida county to more closely scrutinize a proposed liquified natural gas facility. (Florida Today)

POLITICS:
• A Florida congressman is booed at a town hall meeting after responding “we don’t live in a perfect world” to a question about repealing the federal stream protection rule. (Florida Politics)
• Religious leaders and environmental activists in Virginia are pushing back against a campaign targeting minority communities to promote the “importance of domestic oil and natural gas to making people’s lives better.” (Desmog Blog)
• A fossil fuel advocacy campaign offers scholarships to African American students in North Carolina. (Daily Tar Heel)

NUCLEAR:
• Kentucky lawmakers move closer to lifting the state’s moratorium on new nuclear plants. (Platts)
• Concrete recently poured at the Vogtle nuclear plant in Georgia was not certified to nuclear construction standards, but was used in “areas of the plant that are non-safety significant.” (Augusta Chronicle)
• The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is looking into how a contract worker was able to get a small handgun into an Alabama nuclear plant. (Decatur Daily)

GRID: Potomac Edison plans to spend $135 million on power grid improvements, including in West Virginia. (Electric Light & Power)

COMMENTARY:
• What Virginia can learn from California’s “grand experiment” with solar. (Bacon’s Rebellion)
• South Carolina lawmakers should pass a bill to attract investment from the solar industry to the state. (Southern Alliance for Clean Energy)
• Virginia would be “the perfect place” to develop small nuclear reactors for use around the world. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

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