Daily Digest

Virginia utility warns of blackouts without new transmission line

UTILITIES:
• Dominion Virginia Power warns the state’s Supreme Court that without a proposed transmission line over the James River the Peninsula region faces rolling blackouts. (Daily Press)
Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good supports proposal to assess North Carolina’s energy needs with continued progress on renewables. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• TVA’s Integrated Resource Plan illuminates potential for wind energy from within its seven-state footprint. (Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal)
• Univ. of Tennessee report finds there are still ‘low-hanging fruit’ for more clean energy in TVA’s Integrated Resource Plan. (Knoxville News Sentinel)
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has ruled that NC WARN failed to show that Duke Energy’s power plant construction resulted in “unjust and unreasonable” energy rates. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR VS RENEWABLES: Tennessee Sen. Alexander to U.S. EPA: favoring wind and solar energy over nuclear hurts Tennessee. (WGNS Radio)

SOLAR:
County officials in Madison County, Georgia weigh developing solar energy systems to help power two wastewater sites. (Madison Journal Today)
• The latest acquisition of a solar system in California brings Virginia-based Dominion Resources’ solar portfolio in California to 241 megawatts. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

OIL TANK CAR SAFETY:
Final Federal rule on rail oil tank car safety requires retrofitting, slowing down even more. (Jacksonville Business Journal)
Older, puncture-prone tankers hauling crude oil would be taxed to pay for new rail safety measures under a bill co-authored by Virginia’s U.S. Senators. (The News & Advance, Lynchburg)
Warren Buffett defends his rail tank car business asserting no mode of transporting crude oil can be 100% safe. (Associated Press)

COAL:
• Virginia State Del. Terry Kilgore slams Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s reasoning behind his veto of a bill to extend Virginia’s coal tax credit. (Kingsport Times-News)
• A family tradition dedicated to mining coal seems to be declining throughout much of Appalachia. (West Virginia Public Broadcasting)
• 
Court records reveal then-Massey Energy CEO Blankenship worried about a major explosion at one of its coal mines four months before the deadly Upper Big Branch explosion in 2010. (The Charleston Gazette)

COAL ASH: North Carolina officials and Duke Energy are bypassing an option to determine whether coal ash ponds threaten nearby drinking water wells. (News & Record, Greensboro)

HYDRAULIC FRACTURING: If earthquakes can be triggered by fracking in Oklahoma and Alabama, what about North Carolina? (Winston-Salem Journal)

OIL & GAS:
Virginia should hire more railroad track inspectors and amend state law to require greater visibility at railroad crossings, a state task force on rail safety says. (Daily Press)
• Florida Sen. Nelson is seeking to blunt push for oil exploration off Florida’s east coast. (Orlando Sentinel)
• Louisiana police say a natural gas well that blew wild in Calcasieu Parish has been secured and evacuated residents have returned home. (The Times-Picayune)
Customers of public natural gas systems in Louisiana are among the parties who could be affected by a rising cost of gas tied to growing exports of liquefied natural gas. (The Acadiana Advocate)
False BP oil spill claim nets Louisiana man 41 months in prison. (The Times-Picayune)

OIL & GAS PIPELINES:
• To assess the impact of its path through Georgia, Savannah city officials assert need for more information from developers of the proposed Palmetto Pipeline. (Savannah Morning News)
• Dominion Resources puts a price tag on access to natural gas from its planned Atlantic Coast Pipeline. (The News Virginian)

COMMENTARY:
• Columnist Susan Ladd: For a legislature that is supposed to be focused on creating jobs, the North Carolina General Assembly seems bent on alienating fledgling industries and driving away others. (News & Record, Greensboro)
• Columnist Cynthia Tucker: Many conservatives have abandoned dealing with climate change for “the siren call of their monied backers.” (Albany Herald, southwest Georgia)
• Prominent blogger Ivy Main wonders if Dominion set up a bidding process for offshore wind that was guaranteed to produce a high bid so it could say it costs too much and walk away. (The Virginian-Pilot)
• Research by a public interest group finds that despite its self-styled image, the Governors Coalition promoting drilling offshore Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia is largely run by groups tied to the oil and gas industry. (Facing South blog)
• The founder of the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council articulates a vision for a job creation strategy focused on clean energy. (Knoxville News Sentinel)

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