Daily Digest

Virginia governor orders state to regulate power plant carbon emissions

CLIMATE: Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe issued a directive Tuesday for the state to begin developing regulations to reduce carbon emissions from power plants, saying “the threat of climate change is real.” (Roanoke Times)

PIPELINES:
• Virginia’s Democratic governor candidates continue to debate the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, while Dominion Energy sent a letter to the company’s 76,000 employees, retirees and shareholders throughout Virginia asking them to consider the pipeline project when voting(Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post)
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West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection has denied a request for a hearing on an appeal challenging its approval of a Clean Water Act certification for the Mountain Valley Pipeline project. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
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A new natural gas pipeline site is planned under the Arkansas River, where a similar pipeline ruptured nearly two years ago. (Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette)

NUCLEAR:
• Following Westinghouse’s bankruptcy filing, North Carolina regulators have given Duke Energy 60 days to provide information about potential impacts on its proposed Lee Nuclear Station. (Charlotte Business Journal)
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Westinghouse has until Thursday to file an objection to the unsealing of contract details for South Carolina’s Summer nuclear project. (Charlotte Business Journal)
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As the Westinghouse bankruptcy casts doubt over the nuclear industry, the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts U.S. nuclear capacity will decline over the next three decades. (Utility Drive)

SOLAR: 
Bankruptcy filings reveal Georgia-based Suniva was deep in debt to foreign suppliers, despite claims its products were mostly American-made. (E&E News)
Georgia regulators approve a 139 MW solar project near Robins Air Force Base. (Macon Telegraph)
A developer is seeking city approval to construct 30 upscale townhouses in Virginia, which would be the first solar-powered subdivision east of the Mississippi River. (Bristol Herald Courier)

COAL:
• Shortly after being released from federal custody, former Massey CEO Don BlankenshIp has written a letter to President Donald Trump asking him not to support legislation that would increase the punishment for other coal executives convicted of similar crimes. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
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A deal between a coal company and Louisiana’s coastal restoration project is being questioned by environmental advocates. (Times-Picayune)
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Virginia’s Democratic senators have proposed legislation to help coal miners’ pension plans, which are headed for insolvency. (Financial Regulation News)
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Federal money designated for coal mine cleanup, economic development and job growth is being given to Virginia. (WCYB)

EMISSIONS: Environmental concerns are being raised following the announcement that North Carolina is now only requiring 22 of its 100 counties to conduct vehicle emissions testing. (Associated Press)

EFFICIENCY: The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded a zero-interest, $13 million loan to seven South Carolina electric cooperatives to secure energy efficiency upgrade funding. (SC Now)

UTILITIES: Opponents of the purchase of the Pleasants Power Station by Mon Power and Potomac Edison told FERC the deal would stifle competition and put customers at risk of higher utility bills. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

COMMENTARY:
• A columnist says Republican senators in North Carolina “are trying to take the air out of wind energy” in the state by slipping a moratorium into a budget bill. (News & Record)
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The North Carolina Senate has produced a budget that “discourages innovation,” based on its cuts to renewable energy research and development. (WRAL)

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