Daily Digest

Protests grow over powers stripped from North Carolina governor

NORTH CAROLINA:
• Incoming Gov. Roy Cooper says “the courts will have to clean up the mess” after Republican legislators strip his office of several powers. (Associated Press)
• Even some stalwart Republicans criticize the state’s lawmakers and outgoing Gov. Pat McCrory for their last-minute maneuvers to weaken the his successor. (VICE)

OFFSHORE DRILLING:
• Coastal businesses hope President Obama this week approves a permanent ban on both drilling and seismic testing off the Atlantic Coast. (The Post and Courier)
• Here is the legal basis for how President Obama can block offshore drilling and President-elect Trump will not, reportedly, be able to reverse it. (Facing South)

SOLAR:
Capacity in North Carolina has more than doubled since 2014 but the rate of growth is slowing due in part to a backlog of interconnection requests pending at Duke Energy. (StarNewsOnline, Charlotte Business Journal)
• The Johnson City Power Board says it will begin construction in the first half of 2017 of the first large solar farm by a public utility in northeast Tennessee. (Johnston City Press)
• A community college in Virginia plans to create a career certificate program for solar energy technology. (Suffolk News Herald)
• “Green Tea” activist Debbie Dooley of Georgia justifies her passion for both solar and President-elect Trump. (Daily Climate)
• Tampa Electric adds 1.8 megawatts of solar panels atop parking spaces at the Legoland amusement park. (Attractions Magazine)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good assesses how the company will respond to the looming reversal of the plan. (Charlotte Business Journal)

COAL: Shelley Moore Capito, R-WV, is interviewed on what the administration of President-elect Trump may mean for miners. (West Virginia Public Broadcasting)

UTILITIES:
Duke Energy is folding the Piedmont Natural Gas Foundation into its own foundation. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• After a spirited debate, New Orleans’ city council votes to renew contracts for advisers who help it regulate Entergy’s rates and service. (New Orleans Advocate)

NUCLEAR: The deputy chief of the United Nations warns a “nightmare scenario” is rising for a cyber attack on commercial nuclear power plants. (Associated Press)

PIPELINES: Protests against the Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline planned from Alabama through Georgia into central Florida are resembling protests that have blocked the Dakota Access oil pipeline. (The Daily Progress)

COAL ASH: Environmentalists sound alarms about delays over how Dominion Virginia Power is re-tooling a $35 million system for treating ash wastewater near the Potomac River. (Inside NOVA)

WIND: The Arkansas Electric Cooperative acquires access to 173 megawatts of wind capacity from two projects in Oklahoma. (Arkansas Business)

CLIMATE: President-elect Trump may think climate change is a “hoax” but his Mar-a-Lago oceanfront club in Florida is threatened more every year by rising sea levels. (Bloomberg Businessweek)

NATURAL GAS: Critics say Florida’s utilities are building unnecessary pipelines for profit while customers foot the bill. (Desmog Blog)

EFFICIENCY: A non-profit in West Virginia moves to promote conservation with new consumer-level programs. (The State Journal)

RESEARCH: Physicists express concern over how Energy secretary-designee Rick Perry might “zero out” a federal energy laboratory in Newport News, Virginia. (Daily Press)

TRANSPORTATION: Local governments in Northern Virginia and elsewhere in metro Washington, DC share their alarm over failures of the region’s transit system and its need for an extra $1 billion over three years. (Washington Post)

COMMENTARY:
• The leader of the Kentucky municipal utilities agency pushes back against a newspaper’s criticism of its power supply plans beginning in 2022 and its reliance on coal. (Lexington Herald-Leader)
Virginia should regulate fracking carefully, not foreclose the option. (Washington Post)
• West Virginia should seize on mining and marketing the rare earth minerals found in its coal-bed formations. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• The “slash and gash” of the Sabal Trail gas pipeline in Florida: there has to be a better way. (Ocala StarBanner)

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