Daily Digest

Trump administration drops Florida from offshore drilling plan

OFFSHORE DRILLING: After meeting with Florida Gov. Rick Scott, U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Tuesday he is removing Florida from the Trump administration’s plan to open nearly all U.S. coastal waters to oil and gas drilling. (Bloomberg)

ALSO:
• The removal of Florida from the White House’s plan to expand offshore oil and gas exploration underscores its deep unpopularity. (New York Times)
• Virginians are also protesting the proposal and Gov. Terry McAuliffe has asked the state not be included in the plan. (WVTF)

PIPELINES:
• Environmental groups filed a lawsuit on Monday against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission over its approval of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, saying FERC didn’t do enough to establish a need for the project. (Associated Press)
• Dominion Energy says recent cold weather reinforces the need for more natural gas pipelines in Virginia. (WVTF)
The Norfolk, Virginia, City Council has postponed again a vote on whether to let the Atlantic Coast Pipeline run beneath the city’s drinking-water reservoirs. (Virginian-Pilot)

NUCLEAR:
• Santee Cooper has asked federal regulators to stop SCANA from giving up its licenses to build nuclear reactors, which could have substantial consequences for South Carolina’s electric customers. (Post and Courier)
South Carolina lawmakers began their new session on Tuesday with debate on how to deal with ramifications from the state’s now-failed Summer nuclear project. (Associated Press)

CLIMATE:
• Virginia Governor-Elect Ralph Northam announced the state will join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative in an effort to reduce emissions, garnering praise from activists. (Blue Virginia)
• Four lawmakers, including South Carolina’s Rep. Mark Sanford, joined the House Climate Solutions Caucus, which seeks bipartisan solutions to climate change issues such as carbon emissions and rising sea levels. (The Hill)

SOLAR: South Carolina is nearing a state-set limit on solar energy that would curtail its expansion by making it harder for homeowners to add solar panels to their roofs. (The State)

FUEL: More than 1,000 gallons of fuel spilled from Norfolk Southern Railway into Tennessee waters on Monday. (Times Free Press)

COAL ASH:
• Duke Energy will pay an $84,000 penalty and work to stop waste from three North Carolina coal plants from leaking into groundwater and rivers under a deal with state regulators announced Tuesday. (Associated Press)
• North Carolina regulators are seeking public input on the cleanup of coal ash from three Duke Energy power plants. (Charlotte Observer)
• A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit from two environmental groups seeking to stop the discharge of pollutants from a coal plant into a lake in Kentucky. (Herald Leader)

STORAGE: Florida’s traditional, regulated utilities could actually make it one of the best new markets for energy storage. (Utility Dive)

SUBSIDIES: FERC’s decision to reject Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s plan to subsidize coal and nuclear power plants earned praise from Arkansas energy stakeholders. (Arkansas Business)

POWER LINES: Florida regulators approved on Tuesday Florida Power & Light’s petition to eliminate the cost of overhead power line and pole removal, giving cities and neighborhoods a cost break. (Sun Sentinel)

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