Daily Digest

Dominion owes ratepayers $66 million, Virginia says

VIRGINIA: The utility commission’s staff is arguing during a trial-like hearing this week that Dominion Virginia Power owes customers about $66 million in refunds. (The Virginian-Pilot)

PIPELINES:
• The rush to build pipelines for newly discovered oil and natural gas in West Virginia and elsewhere may undermine safety. (SNL)
• The FERC’s approval of the Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline through southern Georgia ignites a protest from a local landowner. (Albany Herald)

NORTH CAROLINA: Opponents of a 2007 law that mandates 6% of electricity sold must come from renewable sources are making a last-minute push to freeze it at that level. (Associated Press)

SOLAR:
• The Orlando-Winter Park Solar Co-op has selected Tampa-based Solar Energy Management to install solar systems on members’ homes. (Orlando Weekly)
• SunEdison has agreed to form a 50-50 joint venture with Virginia-based Dominion Resources to develop a 210-megawatt solar power plant in Utah. (Energy Business Review)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: A federal appeals court declined requests late Wednesday by West Virginia and other states to block the Obama administration’s landmark climate rule for power plants. (The Hill)

WIND: The parent of Alabama Power will buy the 151-megawatt Grant Wind facility in Oklahoma from Apex Clean Energy for an undisclosed amount. (Birmingham Business Journal)

FRACKING:
• The future of hydraulic fracturing in Georgia is tied to many risks and other factors. (WABE Public Radio, Atlanta)
• Showdowns between industry and frustrated landowners in West Virginia are becoming more hostile. (EnergyWire)

OFFSHORE DRILLING:
• The advocacy group Oceana says that at least 23 communities in North Carolina have passed resolutions opposing drilling off the state’s coastline. (Fayetteville Observer)
• “Don’t Drill Lowcountry” has joined forces with other citizen groups to form a coalition across South Carolina and neighboring states to fight offshore drilling. (Don’t Drill Lowcountry blog)

COAL:
• The CEO of Murray Energy is arguing today that a new federal “stream protection rule” will “close down virtually all underground coal mining” in the U.S. (Wheeling News Register)
• Lawyers for Don Blankenship want the questioning of prospective jurors for the former Massey Energy Co. CEO’s trial to take place behind closed doors. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• 
Coal company bankruptcies aren’t the way to a lower-carbon future because the surviving companies will deploy coal for different industrial uses.  (Slate)

NUCLEAR:
• Two environmental groups joined Virginia’s Attorney General to preserve the state’s ban on mining uranium for nuclear power reactors. (Southern Environmental Law Center blog)
• A DOE team has begun crafting strategies for reaching out to communities that might accept and store nuclear waste. (Greenwire)

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT: A foundation in Louisiana’s St. Tammany parish is hosting a series of seminars to help area residents find jobs in the oil and gas industries(The New Orleans Times-Picayune)

2010 BP OIL SPILL: A federal appeals court says certain litigation alleging that BP misled investors about the rate of oil flowing after the Gulf rig explosion can proceed as a class action lawsuit. (Associated Press)

COMMENTARY: Dominion Virginia Power’s “community solar” program is about neither community nor solar. (Power for the People VA blog)

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