Daily Digest

Trump administration plans largest ever oil and gas lease sale in Gulf waters

OIL & NATURAL GAS: The U.S. Interior Department announced on Tuesday it is proposing the country’s largest ever oil and gas lease sale, covering 77 million acres of federal Gulf waters off the coasts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. (Washington Post)

ALSO:
• Meanwhile, two Louisiana lawmakers praised the proposed lease sale for its job-creating potential for the state. (The Advocate)
• Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant says his state welcomes the lease sale, which carries out President Trump’s vision for American energy “dominance.” (WLOX)
• The proposed oil and gas lease sale could be as close as three miles from the shore of several Southeastern states. (WKRG)

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NUCLEAR:
• Customers who are suing Santee Cooper and SCANA Corp. over South Carolina’s now-failed Summer nuclear project want a receiver to be appointed to oversee funds the utilities have collected and will continue to collect for project. (Post and Courier)
• Florida regulators will hear from witnesses today as they consider FPL’s request for customers to pay for a $200 million-plus cleanup of groundwater contamination from its Turkey Point nuclear plant. (Palm Beach Post)

POLICY: FERC’s comment period ended on Monday with an onslaught of opposition for the Trump administration’s proposal to boost coal and nuclear power, including objections from the nation’s biggest electric grid operator and the natural gas industry. (Greentech Media, Associated Press, Natural Gas Intel)

SOLAR: Duke Energy and solar developers are in a new fight over grandfathered solar projects that are waiting for grid connection. (Charlotte Business Journal, subscription)

WIND: An offshore wind company announced it will conduct turbine testing at a facility at Clemson University in South Carolina. (North American Wind Power)

COAL:
• A $1.3 million federal grant is being awarded to the West Virginia University Research Corp.’s efforts to develop sensors that monitor corrosion in coal-fired power generation boilers. (Associated Press)
• Alpha Natural Resources is transferring mostly-idle mining properties in West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee to Lexington Coal Co. (West Virginia Public Broadcasting)

CLIMATE: A look at the city of Atlanta’s efforts to fight climate change. (WABE)

UTILITIES: Environmental advocates want West Virginia regulators to reject two power companies’ proposal to buy a coal power plant, saying it would raise customers’ rates. (WRAL)

ELECTRICITY: A group of Virginia lawmakers are proposing legislation to help take Dominion Energy’s planned lines underground for the future Amazon data center. (NBC News4)

COMMENTARY:
• The Energy Department needs to stop ignoring the risk associated with Georgia’s Plant Vogtle nuclear project, and start protecting taxpayers by safeguarding the federal funds already tied up in this troubled project. (The Hill)
• An environmental activist says North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper shouldn’t allow another wood-pellet mill in the state because they are dirty and destructive. (News & Observer)
• A writer from the Union of Concerned Scientists says it would be better to phase out fossil fuel subsidies and provide more incentives for clean energy. (Huffington Post)

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