Daily Digest

North Carolina rejects environmental plan for Atlantic Coast Pipeline

PIPELINES: North Carolina’s DEQ rejected environmental plans for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which is the first decision on the controversial project from any of the three states it would traverse. (News & Observer)

ALSO: FERC approved the Gulf South Pipeline compression project for a natural gas plant in Louisiana. (Platts)

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CLEAN POWER PLAN:
• EPA head Scott Pruitt announced in Hazard, Kentucky, on Monday a formal proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan, declaring “the war on coal is over.” (New York Times)
Several West Virginia lawmakers and Gov. Jim Justice praised the announcement. (WDTV)
• Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said “the war on coal” has taken its toll on his state. (WTVQ)
• Reactions in Arkansas to the rollback of the Clean Power Plan are mixed. (KUAR)
• Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham said she would enact a clean power plan for her state to reduce carbon emissions and increase renewable energy. (Florida Politics)

RENEWABLE ENERGY: In addition to the Clean Power Plan repeal, Pruitt also said Monday that he’d like to “do away with” federal tax credits for the wind and solar power industries. (The Hill)

COAL:
• Energy experts say cost remains the chief obstacle to making “clean coal” mainstream, while some believe the U.S. power sector needs bigger tax credits or other incentives to close the cost gap. (Associated Press)
• New groundwater testing shows unsafe levels of a cancer-causing metal at an abandoned Tennessee landfill that received waste from several industries, including coal. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR:
• SCANA Corp. is facing another lawsuit from shareholders who say the state-owned utility was not forthcoming about problems with its Summer nuclear project in South Carolina. (Post and Courier)
• Former Santee Cooper executives say there’s still a possibility the Summer plant could be completed. (SNL Energy)
• A conservative group wants to repeal a state law that allows the costs of the Plant Vogtle nuclear project to be passed on to ratepayers while construction is underway. (Augusta Chronicle)

COMMENTARY:
• President Trump’s plan to prop up the ailing coal industry is a “perverse and counter-productive proposal that would use American taxpayer money to hurt us, to the exclusive benefit of the fossil fuel industry and the politicians in their pockets.” (The Guardian)
• A new analysis shows that economics, not regulations, are behind coal’s decline. (Greentech Media)
• EPA head Scott Pruitt claims victory on a non-existent war on coal and sets the U.S. back significantly. (Esquire)
• Two guest columnists and attorneys say the role of Virginia’s environmental leaders to safeguard our water has never been more important as they consider whether to approve the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline project. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
• A columnist questions whether Dominion Energy is already planning a pipeline expansion prior to the original project being approved. (Washington Post)

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