Daily Digest

Fate of only U.S. nuclear plant under construction to be decided Thursday

NUCLEAR: Georgia’s Public Service Commission is expected to decide Thursday whether to cancel the Vogtle nuclear project amid the growing calls to do so. The decision carries high stakes for the local economy and fate of new nuclear around the county. (Washington Examiner, Savannah Morning News, Augusta Chronicle)

ALSO:
• Critics of the Vogtle project say the power isn’t even needed, citing less-than-anticipated growth in demand in recent years. (WABE)
Federal agents are looking into whether South Carolina utility officials concealed information from investors about the now-failed Summer nuclear project and whether their actions constitute fraud or securities violations. (The State)
• The head of South Carolina’s utility watchdog agency is retiring in the wake of the failed Summer project, for which he has faced criticism. (Post and Courier)

ELECTRICITY: Georgia Power says power has been fully restored at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International airport, after more than 1,000 flights were grounded following a fire in an underground electrical facility. (Associated Press)

COAL:
• President Trump’s pick to head the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement has been a vocal critic of the agency he is now being asked to lead, and was also was once dropped by the agency after his engineering firm produced a report deemed “nonsensical” and “junk.” (ProPublica)
• 
President Trump is reconsidering rules intended to protect coal miners from getting black lung disease, which can lead to cancer. (Associated Press)

PIPELINES:
• Landowners filed a lawsuit against the Colonial Pipeline, saying nothing was done to fix land contaminated in 2016 explosion. (Times-Picayune)
• A handwritten banner that said “Stop Poisoning Our Community!” was hung on the porch of a Virginia water official’s home. (Virginian-Pilot)
• Bayou Bridge Pipeline protesters in Louisiana gathered to pray and hold a Native American ceremony ahead of the project’s groundbreaking, while another environmental group plans to place themselves in the way of the proposed route. (KATC 3, WWL)
• A Louisiana activist recently bought land in the path of the proposed Bayou Bridge Pipeline’s route. (DeSmog)

WIND: Appalachian Power’s plan to buy wind farms is prompting questions over the cost and need. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

SOLAR: Mississippi was ranked 42nd among states for solar generation in 2016, but jumped to No. 26 by the end of this year. (Sun Herald)

POLICY: The Republicans’ tax overhaul bill rolled out late Friday boosts oil and gas drilling as well as renewable energy, though Georgia’s troubled Vogtle nuclear plant project did not fare well in this final version. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

TAXES: Exxon Mobil received almost $700 million in property tax breaks during the past 20 years that would have helped pay Louisiana’s schools, police officers, parks, libraries and more. (Advocate)

OFFSHORE DRILLING: Although seismic oil and gas testing is widely opposed by many in South Carolina, a state senator says it’s “foolish if we don’t find out at least what’s out there.” (Post and Courier)

FRACKING: The Interior Department is planning the final repeal in January of the Bureau of Land Management’s fracking rule. (Washington Examiner)

BIOFUELS: A Virginia farmer who also raises cattle and turkeys is an example of the evolving manure-to-energy sector. (Bay Journal)

COMMENTARY:
• 
A Florida newspaper’s editorial board says it’s time to pull the plug on Georgia’ troubled Vogtle nuclear project. (Gainsville Times)
• A member of the Virginia chapter of the Sierra Club explains why the state should implement cap and trade for carbon dioxide emissions. (Free Lance-Star)
• The executive director of the Coastal Conservation League is calling for reform that includes the least-costly, cleanest energy available following South Carolina’s failed nuclear project. (Post and Courier)
• A columnist says modern grid operations could have kept the power on at Atlanta’s airport during Sunday’s blackout that canceled flights. (Forbes)

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