Daily Digest

Oil surveys authorized in Florida nature preserve

OIL & GAS: The National Park Service authorizes a Texas company to survey 110 square miles for recoverable reserves in the Big Cypress National Preserve in south Florida. (Associated Press)

ALSO:
• Scientists warn plans to dredge new shipping channels in Florida for petroleum products would damage coral reefs already strained by climate change. (Climate Central)
• Relatively low prices strain Louisiana’s long ties with the industry. (New Orleans Public Radio)

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UTILITIES:
Duke Energy and Southern Co. are among utilities ramping up investments in renewable sources of electricity in part because they can sell it at prices higher than conventional fuels. (Wall Street Journal)
Southern Co. completes its acquisition of power grid technology provider PowerSecure International, which will keep its operations in North Carolina. (Atlanta Business Chronicle)
• Duke Energy plans to build a $55 million combined heat and power plant at Duke University to help reduce its carbon emissions 25%. (Charlotte Business Journal)

FRACKING: Two university geophysicists provide context for the debate over whether fracking should be allowed in Florida. (University of Florida News)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Some North Carolinians are upset they weren’t allowed to comment on Tesla’s bid to increase its sales outlets there. (Southern Alliance for Clean Energy)

VIRGINIA: Energy committee leaders in the state’s General Assembly announce a long-awaited “Joint Special Committee on Energy” but withhold public inputs. (Power for the People VA blog)

WEST VIRGINIA: The decline of coal is having a ripple effect throughout the private sector. (West Virginia Public Broadcasting)

PIPELINES: Federal regulators grant a favorable environmental review to the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline designed to ship fracked gas to markets in the Carolinas, Georgia and possibly Alabama. (Greenwire)

NUCLEAR:
• A Virginia vendor to nuclear plants refuses to give up its fight to mine uranium as environmental groups continue to block it. (Southern Environmental Law Center)
• The Deptartment of Energy is funding programs at colleges aimed at boosting the supply of industry workers. (Augusta Chronicle)

COAL: Coal is expected to account for only about half of Appalachian Power’s generating capacity by 2025, down from 74% in 2012. (Environmental Leader)

COAL ASH: Damage settlements are not being aided by science – yet. (Danville Register Bee)

BIIOMASS: A wood-pellet processor in Virginia and North Carolina reports on how a cost-cutting effort is boosting its ability to serve overseas markets. (Biomass Magazine)

SOLAR: A $2 million-plus system under construction for GE Healthcare in Florence, South Carolina is due to start generating electricity in July. (SC Now)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: Louisiana businesses try to anticipate whether the Clean Power Plan will impact their energy costs. (Greater Baton Rouge Business Report)

***SPONSORED LINK: Register today for Solar Power Southeast, May 25-26 in Atlanta. This year’s event will include educational sessions as well as a completely sold out exhibit floor. Get a 15% discount with code SPSE16SACE. ***

GRID: An analysis by the operator of the power grid that includes all of West Virginia, most of Virginia and parts of Kentucky and North Carolina concludes new policies to protect special interests could hamper its coordination efforts. (RTO Insider)

COMMENTARY:
• It’s long past time for Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe to step it up on climate and the environment. (Blue Virginia blog)
• Our nation’s energy future deserves to know what oil and & gas resources can be found off the Mid-Atlantic coast. (Fayetteville Observer)
Wind energy is a lot older than you might think. (The Post and Courier)
• Despite a lack of helpful policies, more Virginians are going solar. (Daily Press)

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