Tennessee officials keep nuclear waste details from public

NOTE TO READERS: Southeast Energy News is taking a break for Thanksgiving. The daily digest will return on Monday, November 28. NUCLEAR: The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has removed data from its website about how much low-level nuclear waste is going into other landfills, saying it is confidential. (Tennessean)

• A small South Carolina county will consider taking legal action against SCANA today because the company’s failed Summer nuclear project will not deliver tens of millions of dollars in annual property fees, as promised. (Post and Courier)
• A federal judge upheld a lawsuit by three environmental groups against Florida Power & Light over alleged water pollution from its Turkey Point nuclear plant.

Atlantic Coast Pipeline construction allowed through two national forests

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: With a deadline less than two weeks away, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper still has not designated a state agency to accept Volkswagen settlement funds that could advance the state’s electric car charging infrastructure. (Southeast Energy News)

• The U.S. Forest Service will permit the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline to be built through two national forests. (Daily Progress)
• North Carolina law enforcement officials are expecting “outside agitators” in the coming months to protest the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. (News & Observer)
• Opponents and supporters of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline spoke at a public hearing about the project’s air permit in North Carolina; the period for public comment ends today. (Progressive Pulse)

***SPONSORED LINK: Power to the People: Fueling the Revolution for Energy Justice Conference, in Memphis on Dec.

South Carolina utility wants customers to continue paying for nuclear project

NUCLEAR: The incoming president of South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. said Thursday he wants to implement an immediate 3.5 percent rate reduction, but will still charge its customers for the abandoned Summer power plants over the next 50 years. (Associated Press, Post and Courier)

• Thursday’s proposal from SCE&G will likely make any future nuclear developments even less enticing to developers, while many suggest South Carolina’s failed project foreshadows the future of Georgia’s Vogtle nuclear plant. (Greentech Media)
• The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is considering new safety rules for small modular nuclear reactors. (Utility Dive)

***SPONSORED LINK: Power to the People: Fueling the Revolution for Energy Justice Conference, in Memphis on Dec 7, will look at the health, economic and housing impacts of energy costs, particularly on low-income residents and the need to move toward affordable and just energy solutions in the Memphis region.

New head of U.S. mining safety narrowly confirmed by Senate

OVERSIGHT: The Senate on Wednesday narrowly approved President Trump’s selection of a David Zatezalo, a West Virginia native and retired coal company executive, to oversee U.S. mining safety. (Associated Press)

SOLAR: A Virginia electric cooperative is working to inform members of proposed rate increases as part of a settlement with the Sierra Club, which said the co-op failed to be transparent as well as disregarded the impact on its customers. (Southeast Energy News)

EMISSIONS: Virginia regulators vote on a plan today to reduce carbon emissions from power plants in Virginia and also allow the state to participate in a carbon-trading network. (Associated Press)

FRACKING: The Environmental Protection Agency has allowed chemicals with known health concerns to be used in fracking around the country, including in Arkansas. (Marketplace)

POLICY: Critics of Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s plan to boost coal and nuclear energy sources are ready to file legal challenges should FERC adopt some version of the proposal.

Pipeline opponents flood FERC with requests for new hearings

PIPELINES: Dozens of groups and individuals are challenging FERC’s approval of the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines, asking the commission to revisit seemingly every aspect of the orders approving the projects. (Natural Gas Intel)

• Opponents of three proposed natural gas pipeline projects in the Southeast have asked a federal appeals court to reject FERC’s request to reverse a court decision to vacate project permits. (Natural Gas Intel)
• The NAACP says the Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s proposed route through North Carolina would hurt black residents most. (News & Observer)

CARBON TRADING: Virginia regulators will seek approval on Thursday of a draft proposed rule that would cap and reduce the state’s emissions while joining nine other states in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

CLIMATE: Virginia has become a member of the Under2 Coalition, joining other states in a commitment to take action on climate change during the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Germany.

Emails show Duke Energy edited scientific reports on coal ash

COAL ASH: Emails and other documents show officials at Duke Energy edited reports related to the impact of coal ash ponds on groundwater, though Duke says inaccurate conclusions are being made. (WBTV)

• The Norfolk City Council must decide whether to grant easements for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to cross drinking-water reservoirs that are in its proposed route. (Virginian-Pilot)
• West Virginia regulators defend waiving the state’s option to tailor its own requirements within a federal permit for the Mountain Valley Pipeline. (Metro News)
• Virginia Governor-elect Ralph Northam’s transition team leader has ties to a company behind the controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline project, which was a significant issue in the election. (DeSmog Blog)

FRACKING: Officials in a Virginia county unanimously voted to ban fracking there, citing environmental concerns.

Utility says Georgia nuclear project’s cost overruns, delays not its fault

NUCLEAR: Georgia Power’s CEO says delays and budget overruns at the Vogtle nuclear plant are not its fault, as state regulators consider the utility’s new cost and schedule. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, WABE)

• South Carolina regulators’ decision a year ago was pivotal when they decided customers had paid enough for the now-failed Summer nuclear project. (Post and Courier)
• South Carolina’s House speaker is proposing to “gut existing laws” that allowed utilities to charge customers before the now-failed Summer nuclear project was complete. (Associated Press)

• Two years after its creation, a Virginia solar authority aimed at encouraging small-scale systems remains unfunded and has little to show for its work. (Southeast Energy News)
• Solar executives told South Carolina regulators they cannot finance solar projects using the contracts offered by Duke Energy.

West Virginia makes $83.7 billion shale gas deal with China

NATURAL GAS: West Virginia and China have made an $83.7 billion-dollar deal that includes investments in shale gas development over 20 years, earning praise from many politicians but generating more questions than answers. (Charleston Mail-Gazette)

ALSO: China’s energy deal with West Virginia is larger than the state’s gross domestic product and is the biggest single investment in the state’s history. (Bloomberg, Register-Herald)

• SCANA is fully abandoning the Summer nuclear project by the end of the year in order to apply for a roughly $2 billion tax deduction, which officials say will be passed on to electric customers in South Carolina. (Post and Courier)
• Some of the first steps the South Carolina legislature could take after the multi-billion failure of the Summer nuclear plant could be rolling back rate increases and throwing out groups that oversaw the project. (Post and Courier)

EMISSIONS: Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality will present next week its plan to create the state’s first cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Duke Energy plans conversions to natural gas as coal plants struggle nationwide

NATURAL GAS: Duke Energy plans to spend about $200 million in the next three years to convert four coal plants in North Carolina to also burn natural gas. (Reuters)

POLITICS: Newly elected lawmakers across the country, including Virginia, won on platforms that include carbon pricing, clean energy incentives and action against climate change, which many view as a rebuke to the Trump administration’s climate views. (Reuters, E&E News)

• North Carolina regulators have issued more information requests to Dominion Energy and Duke Energy related to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project’s erosion and sedimentation control permit. (Triangle Business Journal)
• The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved the Rayne Xpress Pipeline to begin shipping natural gas to the Gulf Coast. (Kallanish Energy)
• A federal appeals court lifted a temporary stay of construction on Wednesday for the Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline running from Pennsylvania to South Carolina.

Audit from South Carolina prompts questions for Georgia’s nuclear project

NUCLEAR: Officials with Georgia’s Vogtle nuclear plant were questioned on Tuesday whether the project there was dealing with similar problems documented in an audit on the now-failed Summer nuclear project in South Carolina. (Post and Courier)

ALSO: Duke Energy’s CEO said the utility does not want to invest in expanding the Summer nuclear plant. (Post and Courier)

• Regulators mostly rejected a request by Mississippi Power to exclude testimony filed by public utilities staff concerning the Kemper plant in proceedings over how much customers should pay. (Associated Press)
• Florida Power & Light is asking state regulators to approve a $185 million deal to purchase a utility system run by the city of Vero Beach. (News Service of Florida)

NATURAL GAS: The Sierra Club is asking Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Florida Power & Light Co.