Daily Digest

BP makes major oil discovery in Gulf of Mexico

OIL & GAS: BP has discovered 200 million barrels of oil in the Gulf of Mexico about 150 miles from New Orleans. (Houston Chronicle)

ALSO:
President Trump is expected to sign an executive order today to open up offshore oil and gas drilling, as opposition mounts from environmental groups. (USA Today, WSAV)
A Louisiana parish has filed a lawsuit against oil and gas companies for damage to its wetlands, with the district attorney telling the companies, “clean up the mess that you have made and restore our coast.” (Times-Picayune)

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NUCLEAR:
• A SCANA executive said Thursday the V.C. Summer nuclear plant completion could hinge on the extension of federal tax credits. (Post and Courier)
• A Georgia regulator last week pitched Energy Secretary Rick Perry on a federal bailout of the Vogtle plant. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) 
• Georgia Power Co. objects to Westinghouse’s proposed $800 million bankruptcy loan because it could threaten the construction of its nuclear reactors. (MarketWatch)
• An Alabama judge sends back to a lower court a case involving TVA nuclear plant worker’s wife who died from the rare lung disease mesothelioma after inhaling secondhand asbestos fibers from her husband’s work clothes. (AL.com)

COAL: Kentucky advocates seek a future for coal country, without coal. (The Nation)

COAL ASH: Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s successor will determine the state’s role as Dominion prepares to permanently bury coal ash. (Inside Nova)

PIPELINES:
• Environmental groups say construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline would “decapitate” mountaintops in Virginia and West Virginia, as Dominion executives outline the project’s progress. (Richmond Times-Dispatch, Nelson County Times)
• The final environmental impact statement for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project is expected to be approved by summer. (News Virginian)
• Federal regulators are expected to issue a final environmental impact statement in late June for the Mountain Valley Pipeline project. (Pittsburgh Business Times)

OVERSIGHT: The Alabama Department of Environmental Management is ranked last in per capita funding among state environmental agencies, which could lead to fewer inspections of polluting facilities and slower responses to environmental disasters. (AL.com)

WIND: A North Carolina House committee approved changes in proposed wind energy regulations, background on the bill here. (Coastal Review Online, Southeast Energy News archive)

UTILITIES:
• Utilities in many states, including Florida, are closing large, newer power plants, which may be an emerging trend. (E&E News)
• Duke Energy Progress is proposing a rate increase for commercial and industrial customers this summer. (SC Now)

COMMENTARY:
• The Florida Legislature’s likely move to allow Florida Power & Light to charge customers for fracking in other states is “nothing but a massive handout to a powerful monopoly.” (Tampa Bay Times)
• Georgia Power Company’s Vogtle nuclear plant may be “too big to fail.” (Ledger Enquirer)
• President Donald Trump needs to realize the jobs that will put the coal miners back to work are in the renewable energy sector. (York Dispatch)

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