Daily Digest

In Southeast, support and defiance of Trump’s climate decision

CLIMATE: Following President Trump’s announcement to exit the Paris accord, many states are pledging to take action, including Florida and South Carolina, which are vulnerable to rising sea levels. (Associated Press)

ALSO:
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said if President Trump “refuses to lead the response (to climate change), Virginia will.” (Virginian-Pilot)
The mayors of Nashville, New Orleans, Atlanta, and Charlotte are among the growing list of municipal leaders pledging to move forward on climate action. (NewsChannel 5, Times-Picayune, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, WCNC, Curbed)
• Kentucky lawmakers react to the U.S. exit of the Paris accord, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saying Trump is “protecting middle class families across the country and workers throughout coal country.” (WLKY, Washington Examiner)
South Carolina Republicans defend Trump’s decision, while Sen. Lindsey Graham supports re-entering the accord if it becomes “a better deal for America and business.” (Post and Courier)
Florida lawmakers from both parties respond unfavorably to Trump’s exit from the Paris accord, with one saying “this is a huge mistake.” (Miami Herald)
Tennessee lawmakers and businesses have mixed responses to the U.S. leaving the Paris accord. (News Channel 5)
Georgia lawmakers’ responses to the Paris accord exit fall along party lines. (AJC.com)
The governor of Arkansas and most of the state’s members of Congress applauded the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris accord. (Arkansas News)
Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise says the “radical United Nations Paris Accord on global warming is more about wealth distribution than protecting the environment.” (Times-Picayune)
Business leaders and others in the Carolinas and Georgia say they will proceed with clean energy and efficiency plans despite Trump’s decision. (Charlotte Observer, AJC.com)
The Kentucky Coal Association supports the U.S. exit from the Paris accord. (WKU)
Leaving the Paris climate accord is not likely to revive coal jobs and could cost clean energy jobs in Kentucky and Tennessee. (Charleston Gazette-Mail, WPSD)
Protesters gathered in Florida in response to President Trump’s announcement to leave the Paris accord. (Miami Herald)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: In North Carolina, Volkswagen settlement funds are expected to bring new charging stations to the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area; while language in the legislature could impact electric adoption in other sectors. (Southeast Energy News)

UTILITIES:
• The TVA plans to continue moving away from coal despite federal backtracking on climate policy. (Reuters)
• Duke Energy Progress wants to raise electricity rates for some North Carolina customers by an average of 14.9 percent to pay for coal ash clean up, transmission upgrades and natural gas conversion. (Associated Press)
Florida state regulators will consider a proposal from Duke Energy that would lead to customers there paying more for electricity because of higher-than-expected costs. (Orlando Sentinel)
Dominion Energy says it may have overcharged 24,000 commercial customers in Virginia by not properly reading their meters. (Associated Press)

SOLAR:
• A Louisiana Senate committee took action Thursday to correct a mistake from 2015 that prevented solar panel customers in the state from collecting refundable tax credits. (WWLTV)
A former Nashville landfill will now be the site of the city’s first solar farm called Music City Solar. (Fox 17)
More Virginia residents are installing solar panels, though the state ranks 20th in the nation. (Free Lance-Star)
Officials in the only North Carolina county that bans new solar farms are still not convinced they should lift the ban. (Virginian-Pilot)

COAL ASH: Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed legislation on Thursday to develop a framework for disposal of the state’s coal ash. (WRIC)

OIL & GAS:
• A new study from the U.S. Geological Survey shows that unconventional oil and gas production in some areas, including parts of Arkansas and Louisiana, is not contaminating drinking water wells. (World Oil)
• A Louisiana senator says regardless of President Trump’s actions, the global shift from coal to natural gas is good for his state, which is the nation’s second-largest producer of natural gas. (Daily Advertiser)

COMMENTARY:
• A columnist questions if there was political pressure on Virginia’s DEQ regarding two pipeline projects and related water quality issues. (Roanoke Times)
A newspaper editorial says President Trump has betrayed coal country. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

CORRECTION: Because of an editing error, an item in yesterday’s digest misattributed a quote about the Vogtle and Kemper plants to Southern Co. CEO Tom Fanning. It was former FERC chair Pat Wood who called the projects “way out of economic reason.” 

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