Daily Digest

Duke Energy sues insurers over $1 billion in coal ash claims

COAL ASH: Duke Energy has filed suit against 30 of its former insurance companies for refusing to pay more than $1 billion in coal-ash environmental claims in North and South Carolina. (Triangle Business Journal)

WIND: West Virginia regulators approve a utility’s request to purchase 120 MW of power from an Indiana wind farm. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

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NUCLEAR: The two utilities building the nuclear reactors will spend at least the next 30 days determining how to proceed now that Westinghouse has filed for bankruptcy, though Scana’s CEO said the company will continue with the construction of its own two reactors at the V.C. Summer plant in South Carolina. (The State, Bloomberg)

ALSO:
• A Westinghouse subcontractor has filed a nearly $60 million lien against South Carolina Electric & Gas over costs related to the V.C. Summer expansion. (Aiken Standard)
• Westinghouse’s bankruptcy deals a blow to the future of the nuclear power industry, and the company is reportedly shifting its focus to decommissioning plants rather than building them. (Washington Post, Bloomberg)
• If utilities in Georgia or South Carolina do not to complete the Westinghouse nuclear power reactors, they would join a long list of abandoned U.S. nuclear projects. (Reuters)
• Although Kentucky has overturned its moratorium on nuclear projects, the move likely won’t result in new reactors for now. (RTO Insider)

COAL:
• The West Virginia Senate approved a bill on Wednesday that makes small changes in mine safety laws, but rewrites the definition of a healthy stream. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• Coal miners have different perspectives on the future of coal. (NPR)
• A new media project seeks to broaden the narrative of Appalachia beyond the plight of the coal miner. (Nieman Lab)

OIL AND GAS:
• The West Virginia Senate passed a bill Wednesday to allow natural gas producers to force holdout mineral owners to allow drilling. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• President Trump’s executive order on Tuesday makes it easier for energy companies to drill for oil in national parks, which could affect national park lands in Florida, Kentucky and other states. (McClatchy)

CLEAN POWER PLAN:
• Arkansans have mixed responses to President Donald Trump’s rollback of the Clean Power Plan. (Arkansas Business)
• North Carolina’s environmental advocates worry the Trump administration’s reversal of environmental protections will stall the state’s solar and wind growth as developers pursue fossil-fuel growth under eased regulations. (Public News Service)
• Trump’s executive order is not likely to have an impact one way or the other in Florida. (WLRN)

UTILITIES: A Virginia senator says President Trump’s order to rescind the Clean Power Plan means its time to end the “farce” of a special rate review deal for Dominion that was crafted in response to the rule. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

SOLAR: A recent report finds solar employment fell slightly in Tennessee last year. (The Tennessean)

EMISSIONS: Significant emissions reductions in Georgia over the past decade stem from a dramatic reduction in coal burning and stricter federal manufacturing standards. (Online Athens)

CLIMATE: A review of Louisville, Kentucky’s sustainability effort shows mixed results so far. (Louisville Courier-Journal)

COMMENTARY:
• Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell praises the undoing the Clean Power Plan in an op-ed, saying, “with these executive actions, President Trump has answered my call.” (Ohio County Monitor)
• It’s time for Georgia Power and Southern to acknowledge mistakes and apologize for missteps in managing the Plant Vogtle expansion project. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
• President Donald Trump promises “clean coal” that doesn’t exist. (Huffington Post)
• A newspaper editorial calls Richmond, Virginia’s proposed fracking ban “silly virtue-signaling” as the city sits has no natural gas resources. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

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