Daily Digest

Federal budget bill includes fix for coal miners’ benefits

COAL:
• A permanent fix to fund health care benefits for retired coal miners is included in Congress’s $1 trillion budget deal and while miners praise lawmakers, their pensions are still uncertain. (Charleston Gazette-Mail, Lexington Herald-Leader, WKU)
• West Virginia’s coal industry is seeing an upswing, but it’s unclear how long it will last. (Bloomberg)
• Mississippi Power Co. said in a filing on Monday that it expects the remainder of its Kemper plant to be operational by May 31, though its cost will increase by $38 million. (Mississippi Today)

UTILITIES: A bill in the North Carolina legislature backed by Duke Energy would “crush renewables,” critics say, by restricting the number of projects allowed from independent producers. (Southeast Energy News)

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SOLAR:
• Dominion Virginia Power filed a plan with the state on Monday to add 5,200 MW of solar over the next 25 years, but advocates criticize the utility’s push for more natural gas facilities, which it says aren’t needed. (Virginian-Pilot)
A Louisiana House committee passed a bill to pay solar tax credits still owed before last summer’s cap was in place. (Times-Picayune)

CLEAN ENERGY: The Atlanta city council approved a measure on Monday to power the city entirely by renewable energy sources by 2035. (Huffington Post)

NUCLEAR:
• South Carolina regulators want to give the public access to the Summer plant project’s original construction contract and the documents that led to price increases of about $16 billion. (Charlotte Business Journal)
Florida Power & Light Co. isn’t seeking more money from customers for licensing for the proposed Turkey Point nuclear units. (Palm Beach Post)
A look at how the Vogtle and Summer nuclear projects bankrupted Westinghouse. (Reuters)

OFFSHORE DRILLING:
• Florida lawmakers said Monday they are gathering bipartisan opposition to possible drilling for oil and gas off the state’s coast. (SaintPetersBlog)
• Meanwhile, two Florida lawmakers introduced a bill on Monday to extend an oil-drilling ban through 2027. (Naples Daily News)
Companies that were previously denied federal permits for seismic airgun blasting to look for oil and gas in the Atlantic are appealing the decision under the Trump administration. (Virginian-Pilot)

FRACKING: Florida Power & Light’s push to charge customers for out-of-state fracking is dead for this session. (Associated Press)

OIL:
• The Florida Senate on Monday approved a bill that would guarantee that $300 million be distributed to eight counties most affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. (Associated Press)
• Officials in a Louisiana parish support a property tax exemption for repairs to a refinery that burned in a fire last summer. (The Advocate)

COMMENTARY:
• An editorial claims that once the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is finished, no one will notice it. (News Virginian)
West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin says pursuing advanced technologies will help secure coal’s future. (Washington Times)

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