Daily Digest

N.C. governor’s private meeting with Duke execs draws scrutiny

UTILITIES: A 2015 meeting and its timing between North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory and senior Duke Energy officials, including CEO Lynn Good, is drawing scrutiny. (WRAL-TV)

RENEWABLE ENERGY: A new Department of Energy report finds the benefits of state renewable energy standards outweigh the costs by 7 to 1(Greentech Media)

WIND: Neither of South Carolina’s investor-owned utilities intends to develop wind energy off the state’s coast. (The Post and Courier)

BIOENERGY:
• A North Carolina county approves the second and third anaerobic digester power plants in the U.S. (Sampson Independent)
• A conference center in Virginia is burning wood to generate electricity, reduce emissions and lower its power bill. (WVTF Public Radio)
Burning switchgrass found in Virginia is proving to be a viable means of generating electricity. (WVTF Public Radio)
• A Florida county is turning over its yard waste to generate electricity. (Capital Gazette)

SOLAR: A bulk-purchasing co-op in Athens, Georgia reaches out to other communities. (The Oconee Enterprise)

FRACKING:
• West Virginia receives $18 million from fracking leases but no royalties yet. (Associated Press)
• Whether or not to frack in Florida depends on lots of details, including local geology. (Forward Florida)

LIQUIFIED NATURAL GAS: The EPA is asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to revise how it calculates the climate change impacts of LNG export terminals. (SNL)

COAL ASH: The TVA is planning to close coal ash storage facilities at several of its power plants. (WKMS Public Radio)

COAL:
• Another bid by Republicans to block a surface mining rule to protect streams, this one sponsored by a West Virginia Congressman, moves towards a vote in the House. (The Hill)
Exports from Virginia’s Hampton Roads region decline 34% in 2015 compared to 2014. (Platts)
• The number of coal mining deaths in the U.S. in 2015 — 11 — was the lowest on record. (Lexington Herald-Leader)
• Walter Energy has received only one bid in the proposed sale of certain Alabama coal operations in its bid to emerge from bankruptcy. (SNL)
Community colleges in southwest Virginia are receiving $2 million to help retrain laid-off coal miners. (Associated Press)
• Norfolk Southern is laying off 38 conductors and suspending training in response to declining coal shipments. (The Roanoke Times)

PIPELINES: A Dominion executive tells a North Carolina commission that its proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline could save consumers there $134 million annually. (Rhino Times)

SUSTAINABILITY: A Florida subdivision is aiming to achieve “platinum” status in Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design. (Treehugger)

COMMENTARY:
Kentucky should get in on the clean energy boom. (Lexington Herald-Leader)
• West Virginia: it’s time to stop worshiping coal. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
Offshore drilling’s risks are too great for Virginia’s fishing industry. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
• 2016 could be the last year of the “War on Coal.” (West Virginia Record)

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