Daily Digest

TVA moves quietly to build small modular nuclear reactors

NUCLEAR: The TVA moves to ask regulators for permission to build up to 12 small modular reactors next to the Oak Ridge National Lab in Tennessee. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)

ALSO:
• Georgia Power says every dollar and every day invested in building two new reactors at Plant Vogtle are necessary to do it safely and correctly. (EnergyWire)
• Entergy is given nine months to correct how contractors were able to falsify inspections of its Waterford 3 reactor for almost a year. (New Orleans Times-Picayune)

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BLANKENSHIP TRIAL:
Legal experts doubt former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship can overturn his conviction by claiming insufficient evidence. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• A West Virginian launches a campaign to write one letter a day to Blankenship reminding him of the lives lost at the company’s 2010 mine explosion. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• The ex-coal baron pays his $250,000 fine as he prepares to begin serving his one-year prison sentence. (Associated Press)
• The reporter who covered the Blankenship trial reflects on its significance to West Virginia and the coal industry. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

COAL:
Miners in eastern Kentucky hold a rally asking for help in treating their black lung ailments. (WYMT-TV)
Former U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller warns his former West Virginia constituents that a Republican president won’t reverse the state’s ailing coal industry. (West Virginia Public Radio)
• The outlook for coal grows darker as economists predict low natural gas prices for years to come. (The Guardian)

CLIMATE: West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin says environmentalists are their own climate “deniers” by asserting the U.S. can meet its energy needs without fossil fuels. (The Hill)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: Utilities and other stakeholders in Virginia ate at a stalemate over how to comply with the plan. (Bacon’s Rebellion blog)

POLLUTION: A conference in North Carolina looks back on the benefits and costs of reducing pollution from power plants and other sources. (Charlotte Observer)

TECHNOLOGY: An energy research center in southwest Virginia struggles to attract tenants. (Bristol Herald Courier)

COAL ASH: Georgia Power says it needs 10 years to finds ways to store a lot of its coal ash while ash at least two sites will be capped in place. (Rome News-Tribune)

EFFICIENCY: Chattanooga’s electric utility is lauded for efficiency programs that helped the TVA avoid building about $800 million of new power capacity. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)

SOLAR:
• A North Carolina county moves to permit large solar farms. (Lenior News-Topic / Renewables Biz)
• This Mississippi homeowner says he’s less concerned about utility rate increases because he now powers most of his home with a rooftop system. (WLOX-TV)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Greenville claims to be the first jurisdiction in eastern North Carolina to offer free EV charging stations. (WITN-TV)

BIOGAS: The North Carolina Pork Council asks a state court to reverse a rule that permits Duke Energy to get credit for generating renewable energy from waste processed in other states. (Charlotte Business Journal)

2010 GULF OIL SPILL: A public interest group charges that taxpayers are indirectly subsidizing BP by allowing it to claim its court-imposed $20 billion fine as a tax deduction. (Houma Today)

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PIPELINES: Opponents of two pipelines under development in Virginia draw on a technicality to delay survey work. (The Roanoke Times)

COMMENTARY:
• This is how Dominion Virginia Power is winning virtually unlimited options for complying with the Clean Power Plan, including a fifth nuclear reactor. (Power for the People VA blog)
• The board of Jacksonville’s utility needs to listen more carefully to customers about its solar energy policies. (Florida Times-Union)
• President Obama should reverse himself and allow drilling off the Atlantic coast. (The Virginian-Pilot)
South Carolina is at risk of becoming a permanent dumping ground for radioactive materials earmarked to fuel nuclear reactors.  (Institute for Southern Studies)
• One lesson for Kentucky lawmakers from the Blankenship trial: don’t roll back safety rules to prop up coal production. (Lexington Herald-Leader)
• Technically justice was served in the criminal trial of Don Blankenship; not so for the 29 families who lost loved ones to a 2010 mine explosion. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• A Virginia state senator defends policies to help ailing coal companies and the industries that serve it. (The Roanoke Times)

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