Daily Digest

Congress moves to aid Georgia’s nuclear plant, project’s fate decided today

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NUCLEAR: U.S. lawmakers lay the groundwork to guarantee $800 million in federal tax credits to Georgia’s long-delayed and over-budget Vogtle nuclear project, while state regulators meet today to determine if the project will continue. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

ALSO:
• The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a timeline of the troubled Vogtle nuclear project and a look at the stance of Georgia’s seven leading gubernatorial candidates.
• The fate of the Vogtle nuclear project has significant implications for Florida utility JEA’s ratepayers, who are on the hook for as much as $1.7 billion. (Florida Times-Union)
• South Carolina’s utility regulators refused to throw out two cases against SCANA, as the utility owner and state officials continue to disagree on who should pay for the now-failed Summer nuclear project. (Post and Courier)
• Georgia and South Carolina’s nuclear projects were supposed to be identical projects and the start of America’s nuclear energy renaissance, but they now seem to be a study of contrasts. (Post and Courier)
• An investigation finds federal officials routinely downplayed warnings from plant workers and its own experts, with the largest number of complaints coming from Georgia, followed by South Carolina and Tennessee. (Better Government Association)

EFFICIENCY: North Carolina officials voted to reverse more stringent energy conservation requirements for new homes, leaving the state with a residential building code that’s 16 percent less energy-efficient than the nation’s model code. (Southeast Energy News)

COAL:
• President Trump has delivered 1,200 coal mining jobs but claims to have created 45,000. (Newsweek)
• 
In an exclusive interview with a Kentucky newspaper, Santa Claus confirmed the coal he gives to naughty children comes from the state’s mines. (Courier-Journal)

SOLAR:
• A North Carolina appeals court again ruled against a county in favor of a solar developer. (Triangle Business Journal)
• A city council in Virginia voted to reject what might have been the city’s first solar farm. (Virginian-Pilot)
• A nonprofit organization has developed a first-of-its-kind solar program in Florida that offers wholesale prices and 100 percent financing. (TC Palm)

UTILITIES:
• Georgia’s Public Service Commission has given Georgia Power 30 days to respond to questions about a fire that shut down power for 11 hours at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
• 
An association of South Carolina’s 20 electric cooperatives is asking state lawmakers to form a special committee to evaluate offers for the state-owned utility in relation to the failure of the Summer nuclear project. (The State)

TAX REFORM: Republican’s tax bill that is headed for President Trump’s signature and will take effect Jan. 1 has mixed consequences for energy. (Greentech Media)

PIPELINES: Landowners, local businesses and grassroots groups in a small town in Virginia together filed a lawsuit in federal court to block the recently approved water quality permit for the Mountain Valley Pipeline. (SW VA Today)

NATURAL GAS: A small exploration and production company that emerged from bankruptcy in 2016 proposed a 2018 capital expenditure budget that will focus exclusively on shale formations in northern Louisiana. (Platts)

COMMENTARY:
• 
A guest columnist supports the completion of the troubled Vogtle project, saying nuclear power is a long-term, reliable power source that should be used to diversify the nation’s energy portfolio. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
• Two contributors say cancellation of the Vogtle nuclear project would mean a long-term reduction of reliable, emission-free energy in the U.S., and be a blow to thousands of skilled workers with an inevitable loss of many well-paying jobs. (New York Times)

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