Daily Digest

Town in Kentucky’s mining country says it’s quitting coal

COAL: A municipal utility in Kentucky coal country announces it will stop burning the fuel by 2023, most likely transitioning to natural gas. (Paducah Sun, subscription)

ALSO:
• Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe again vetoed efforts to reinstate a tax credit aimed at helping the coal industry, saying they are ineffective at increasing coal mining jobs. (Bristol Herald Courier)
• Two Florida utilities are shutting down a 632 MW coal plant that is no longer economically competitive. (Florida Times-Union)
• Analysts don’t share the Trump administration’s optimism over the future of the coal industry. (Washington Post)

COAL ASH:
• The majority of those surveyed are concerned about Duke Energy’s coal-ash ponds and also say Duke should pay to clean them up and not charge customers. (Triad Business Journal)
• Two cities in Virginia that are downstream from a Duke Energy coal plant continue their costly search for cleaner drinking water. (Winston-Salem Journal)

WIND: The West Virginia state Senate on Saturday voted to repeal a tax cut for wind power projects in the state. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

SOLAR:
• How a lack of policy support holds back solar development in states like West Virginia. (The Guardian)
• A Florida solar installer is among the first in the state to begin introducing Tesla Powerwalls to customers. (Herald-Tribune)

PIPELINES:
• During a U.S. Senate committee hearing last week, an official at Dominion criticized federal agencies overseeing the permitting process of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.(Richmond Times-Dispatch)
• The Florida Southeast Connection is nearly complete, but has not faced the public outcry that the Keystone XL, Sabal Trail and other pipeline projects have drawn. (The Ledger)
• An environmental group is voicing concerns about impacts in West Virginia from natural gas pipelines and possible drilling while the West Virginia Oil & Natural Gas Association is saying “the projects being developed in this region are a key component to the success of West Virginia and a healthy future for its citizens.” (The State Journal, Herald-Dispatch)

OIL AND GAS:
• A scaled-down version of the chemical tank safety law rollback sought by the natural gas industry passed through the West Virginia House on Friday. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• Citing unresolved health concerns, Republicans are leading the fight to ban fracking in Florida as lawmakers consider banning the practice statewide. (Associated Press)
• After two defeats in federal court, Louisiana tried again Friday to revive its lawsuit that blames oil and gas companies for damage to coastal wetlands. (Associated Press)
• Nearly seven years after BP’s oil spill, Florida says it is just beginning to benefit from billions of dollars in legal settlements and penalties. (Pensacola News Journal)

CLIMATE: Fayetteville, Arkansas adopts an Energy Action Plan to help cut carbon emissions. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

POLITICS: Georgia Democrats have formed a green caucus to target environmental concerns, including coal ash regulation and clean energy promotion. (Savannah Morning News)

COMMENTARY:
• The Trump administration “is bent on resuscitating, not regulating, Big Coal,” while Republican lawmakers in Appalachia push loose safety laws. (New York Times)
• “The Sunshine State is finally going to earn its name” with solar power efforts around Florida. (Herald Tribune)
• How solar can benefit South Carolina farmers. (The Times and Democrat)
• New regulations are a chance for bipartisan progress on coal ash in Virginia.
(Richmond Times-Dispatch)
• Officials must decide how much ratepayers should invest in Mississippi Power to provide fuel diversification. (Sun Herald)

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