Daily Digest

Trump seeks to expedite approval of Atlantic Coast Pipeline

PIPELINES:
• President Trump signs an order to expedite approval of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and 49 other “infrastructure” projects. (Progressive Pulse)
• With a new poll, the developer of the Mountain Valley Pipeline claims it has broad support beyond the governors of Virginia and West Virginia. (press release)

NUCLEAR:
• Unlike much of the rest of the country, utilities in the Southeast are adding new reactors or extending their useful lives with support from lawmakers and regulators. (Southeast Energy News)
• The House approves a bill to bolster research on advanced reactors. (World Nuclear News)

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CLIMATE:
• The Trump administration backs off from deleting climate data from the EPA’s web site but appointees move to oversee its scientific communications. (Washington Post)
• President Trump may be downplaying global warming, but Louisiana won’t let him. (Bloomberg Businessweek)
Virginia-based Mars is one of more than 700 organizations that signed a letter urging President Trump and Congress to cut greenhouse gas emissions. (WLRN Public Radio)

EFFICIENCY: The county that includes Tampa is set to create a Property Assessed Clean Energy program to help finance home improvements that also improve climate resiliency. (Tampa Bay Times)

FRACKING:
• Key Republicans join South Florida Democrats in a push for statewide ban on fracking. (SunSentinel)
• A bill advancing in Virginia that requires public disclosure of chemicals deployed includes a “safety valve” for drillers. (Daily Press)

SOLAR:
• Georgia Power plans to add 1,600 more megawatts of solar by 2021 to its current portfolio of 846 MW. (press release)
• Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe announces a 100 megawatt solar farm – the state’s largest to date – to be developed by Community Energy in Southampton County. (The Virginian-Pilot)
Lakeland Electric in Central Florida faces an opportunity to replace a coal plant it co-owns with solar and batteries. (Southern Alliance for Clean Energy)
• The latest bulk-purchasing co-op in Florida launches in Sarasota. (Herald-Tribune)
• The Georgia Environmental Finance Authority grants $35,000 to the Solar for Schools program at Savannah Technical College. (The Savannah Tribune)

COAL ASH:
• Toxic chemicals, including high levels of arsenic from Dominion Virginia Power’s Chesterfield Power Station are polluting a widely used recreation area along the James River, says the James River Association. (Southern Environmental Law Center)
• A much-anticipated trial addressing decades of coal ash management by the TVA at its Gallatin plant starts Monday. (Southern Environmental Law Center)
• State researchers give a clean bill of health to farmland and crops near the site of Duke Energy’s 2014 coal ash spill. (Winston-Salem Journal)

UTILITIES: The new chairwoman of the TVA board says she supports its plan to tap a Memphis aquifer to cool a natural gas plant. (Memphis Daily News)

POLITICS: A critic of Dominion Virginia Power sponsors a bill that would bar lawmakers from accepting campaign donations from the utility and other public service companies. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

COAL:
• Gov. Jim Justice appoints a veteran mine inspector to head the state’s health safety and training office. (MetroNews)
• A bill in Virginia seeks “community schools” to help address closures of public schools tied to coal’s decline in the state’s western counties. (Roanoke Times)

POLICY: The Trump administration’s controversial freeze on the EPA’s grant program including funding to states is expected to end Friday. (Greenwire)

WIND: Dominion Virginia Power is mum about its one-time plan for a wind farm atop a mountain ridge west of Roanoke. (Bluefield Daily Telegraph)

COMMENTARY:
Gulf Power’s plan to boost a fixed fee on its bills 155% is a bad deal for the environment and ratepayers. (Pensacola News Journal)
• Georgia lawmakers should extend a ban on new oil and gas pipelines while developing a better plan to assess applications. (Savannah Morning News)

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