Daily Digest

South Carolina agency says customers should be refunded for nuclear plant

NUCLEAR: South Carolina regulators have filed a motion asking the state’s utility oversight commission to decide the best way for ratepayers to get money back from the now-failed Summer nuclear plant. (The State)

ALSO:
Meanwhile, SCE&G faces a $3,200 fine for leaking sewage from the Summer nuclear station drain into a creek that contaminated a popular recreational river. (The State)

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POLICY: The head of FERC hints that Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s plan to boost struggling nuclear and coal power plants may not be passed by the agency without changes. (Reuters)

NATURAL GAS:
• Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Marco Rubio of Florida are proposing to fast-track the approval process for companies that want to export small-scale volumes of liquefied natural gas. (The Hill)
• The U.S. wants to expand its natural gas exports to Asia, which would benefit export terminals being developed along the Louisiana and Texas coasts. (The Advocate)

OFFSHORE DRILLING: Republican lawmakers are exploring ways to expand drilling in the Gulf of Mexico as well as the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans through congressional budget rules that allow them to pass such changes. (Bloomberg)

REVENUE: An unexpected shortfall in Louisiana’s share of offshore oil and gas royalties could delay or cancel the state’s coastal restoration projects. (New Orleans Advocate)

OIL:
• A federal panel is investigating a recent oil leak in the Gulf off Louisiana’s coast thought to be the largest since 2010’s Deepwater Horizon spill. (Kallanish Energy)
• Researchers from Virginia Tech found that even small amounts of oil spilled during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster made birds sick. (phys.org)

NET METERING: A North Carolina environmental group is appealing a ruling to the state Supreme Court, asking it to overturn a lower court decision that declared it was acting as a utility by selling electricity from solar panels to a church. (WFAE)

PIPELINES: Opponents of Louisiana’s proposed Bayou Bridge Pipeline are asking the governor, who is in favor of the project, to request an environmental impact study. (WRKF)

RENEWABLE ENERGY: Rates paid to developers of renewable energy projects in North Carolina will decline as a result of a recent order from the state’s regulators. (Dive Insight)

POLITICS: Virginia’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam owns stocks in Dominion Energy and other companies, raising questions about how those ties could influence his governance should he be elected. (Washington Post)

COMMENTARY:
• Some North Carolina utilities are trying previously used tactics to gain more revenue from solar energy or keep their customers from going solar. (PV Magazine)
• A newspaper editorial says South Carolina lawmakers should be working to protect the state’s coast from offshore drilling – not setting them up for the highest bidder. (Post and Courier)
• A columnist praises the Richmond Times-Dispatch three-part series detailing Dominion Energy’s influence on lawmakers and the utility’s “abuse of that power to enrich itself at the expense of its captive customers.” (Blue Virginia, Times-Dispatch)

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