Daily Digest

North Carolina bill would ease Duke’s coal ash requirements

COAL ASH:
• North Carolina lawmakers are considering legislation that would ease new requirements on Duke Energy to find environmentally safe recycling uses for coal ash from some of its plants. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• Court documents show that insurers targeted by a Duke Energy lawsuit believed the utility knew the risks of coal ash contamination but failed to take adequate safeguards. (Charlotte Observer)

PIPELINES:
• The Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline that runs through Alabama, Georgia and Florida will be partially in use in the coming days and should be fully operational by the end of the month. (Associated Press)
• Virginia’s DEQ says “additional measures and opportunities for public review and input are necessary” for the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipeline projects. (Roanoke Times)

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SOLAR:
• For the first time ever, Virginia now has more jobs in the solar industry than the coal industry. (WVTF)
• The formation of a second solar co-op in Charleston shows renewable energy’s potential in West Virginia even with its recent natural gas surge and coal history. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill on Friday implementing voter-approved tax breaks for solar. (News Chief)

COAL:
• West Virginia officials have closed an investigation of a 2014 accident that leaked thousands of gallons of a coal-cleaning chemical into the Elk River. (Associated Press)
• Without Coal Valley, there’s no Silicon Valley, says Politico, because metallurgic coal is useful in silicon production, which is a basic material in solar panels. (Politico)

RENEWABLE ENERGY: A Virginia congressman has introduced federal legislation to help develop pumped storage hydropower in Virginia’s coalfield counties. (Bluefield Daily Telegraph)

NUCLEAR: The energy marketplace is very different than it was when a Kentucky senator proposed lifting the state’s moratorium on nuclear power, but some lawmakers are hopeful for a nuclear resurgence now. (WKU)

CLIMATE: The small island community of Tangier, Virginia, has surpassed its fundraising goal to buy 550 copies of a documentary to send to lawmakers after President Trump called the mayor and told him not to worry about rising sea levels. (Huffington Post)

COMMENTARY:
A bill being considered by North Carolina lawmakers would harm the state’s rooftop solar industry and protect Duke Energy’s monopoly. (Charlotte Observer)
A former Air Force commander in Virginia says the military cannot solve rising sea levels, but civilian leadership efforts – like Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s – can. (Virginian-Pilot)
The mayor of St. Petersburg, Florida, says, as a father, he has an obligation to support climate action for the sake of future generations. (Florida Politics)

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