Daily Digest

Judge approves $20 billion settlement over 2010 BP oil spill

OFFSHORE DRILLING: A federal judge approves a $20 billion settlement over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, agreeing the company was “grossly negligent” in the disaster that killed 11 people. (Associated Press)

COAL: Costs for the Kemper “clean coal” plant in Mississippi rise another $18 million, and now stand at $6.6 billion. (Atlanta Business Chronicle)

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SOLAR: Advocates push back on a Tennessee utility’s plan to eliminate net metering and impose a demand charge on solar customers. (Kingsport Times News)

WIND: A North Carolina study finds offshore wind farms could affect tourism spending if turbines are visible from shore. (Charlotte Business Journal)

COAL ASH:
• Environmental and health groups say North Carolina’s governor has taken “troubling steps” on coal ash contamination. (WNCN)
• North Carolina residents “don’t know what to think” about conflicting advisories on coal ash warnings. (Carolina Public Press)
• A Virginia-based power company settles a lawsuit blaming birth defects on coal ash dumped on beaches in the Dominican Republic. (Bloomberg)
• A judge dismisses lawsuits over coal ash contamination at three North Carolina sites. (Charlotte Observer)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: Dominion Power files a brief in support of the Clean Power Plan. (Hampton Roads Daily Press)

BLANKENSHIP TRIAL: A judge rejects $28 million in restitution claims against former coal executive Don Blankenship, which means the most he could pay for violating safety rules is a $250,000 fine. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

CLIMATE:
• Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, a scientist and evangelical Christian, will speak in North Carolina this week as part of a national day of prayer for action on climate change. (Halifax Media Group)
• Officials in South Florida tout the economic opportunities in preparing for sea level rise. (ClimateWire)
• King tides offer a glimpse of the future for the Carolina coast. (Coastal Review Online)

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UTILITIES:
• Louisiana lawmakers consider a bill to require more regular audits of utility fuel costs. (Baton Rouge Advocate)
• Public hearings are scheduled for a Florida utility’s proposed $1.3 billion rate increase for infrastructure upgrades. (Palm Beach Post)

COMMENTARY:
• How North Carolina farmers can benefit from the wind industry. (Raleigh News & Observer)
• Virginia can still be a leader in offshore wind. (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)
• Alabama’s reliance on fossil fuels is “toxic.” (AL.com)
• A utility-backed ballot measure in Florida would enshrine the state’s “decidedly mediocre” solar policy. (Orlando Sentinel)

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