Daily Digest

Even in Southeast, resistance to Trump on climate rollback

CLIMATE: Though President Donald Trump’s executive action on Tuesday targeting the Clean Power Plan will affect the coal industry in several ways, it will likely bring minimal benefit to coal-producing regions. (Associated Press, McClatchy)

ALSO:
• Trump’s order wins praise from officials in West VirginiaAlabama and other states. (The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register, Gadsden Times)
• The city of Atlanta says it will continue fighting climate change, including installing solar panels and tracking energy use. (WABE)
• A Kentucky lawmaker says the idea that coal jobs can ever come back is “one of the most cruel deceptions” in politics. (CNBC)
• The Tennessee Valley Authority says Trump’s decision will have no immediate impact on the utility because it has been reducing carbon emissions from its plants for years. (Commercial Appeal)
• Advocates note that South Carolina, which was already on track to meet the Clean Power Plan targets, will now miss out on up to $1 billion in revenue from carbon credits. (Associated Press)
• Duke Energy says the order could provide “some greater flexibility” but will not impact plans to convert a North Carolina coal plant to natural gas. (WLOS)

NUCLEAR:
• As expected, Westinghouse Electric Company filed for bankruptcy protection on Wednesday, which could result in higher bills for South Carolina and Georgia utility customers. (New York Times, Reuters)
• The chairman of the Georgia Public Service Commission says Westinghouse’s financial troubles are “a real blow to Georgia” because more time and money will be needed to finish the project. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

FRACKING: Despite opposition, a Florida House committee approved a proposal on Tuesday to allow Florida Power & Light to expand its rate base by charging customers for investments in natural gas fracking operations in other states. (Miami Herald)

COAL:
• Universities in the Southeast are researching whether coal mine waste could offer rare earth elements for clean energy and other applications. (Southeast Energy News)
• A bill that first intended to weaken West Virginia’s mine safety has advanced in the senate, with its language intact that helps coal companies fight water pollution lawsuits.(Charleston Gazette-Mail)

PIPELINES: The Georgia Senate passed new regulations on Tuesday for petroleum pipelines, which would set new limits on the ability of pipeline companies to use eminent domain for acquiring private land. (Atlanta Constitution-Journal)

TRANSPORTATION: Louisiana lawmakers preserve a tax credit for low-emission vehicles. (The Advocate)

SOLAR:
• How a decades-old federal clean energy law is driving a solar boom in North Carolina and other states. (Reuters)
• Solar jobs in Virginia increased 65 percent between 2015 and 2016, according to a new report. (Richmond Times Dispatch)

OIL: Mississippi lawmakers are removing $9.5 million for Gulf Coast projects from the reserve fund from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. (Mississippi Today)

NATURAL GAS: NTE Energy is negotiating with municipal utilities for long-term power purchase agreements as it prepares to start construction this year on its second natural gas merchant plant in North Carolina. (Triad Business Journal)

COMMENTARY:
• President Trump said a “new era” in energy production started on Tuesday, but he is ignoring renewable energy jobs. (WMRA)
• For Tennessee’s Oak Ridge nuclear lab to realize its full potential, Congress and the federal government need to expand support to the nation’s nuclear innovators. (Knoxville News-Sentinel)
• Despite the good news about renewable energy, North Carolina lawmakers have allowed policies to erode and slow the growth of renewable energy. (Raleigh News & Observer)

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