Daily Digest

Virginia legislator blasts ‘corrupt’ rate-freeze law

POLITICS: Democratic Party gains in the Virginia General Assembly shift the odds for several energy-related bills, including a push to declare solar projects in the public interest. (Southeast Energy News)

UTILITIES: A Virginia legislator says the state’s 2015 law that suspended regulators’ authority to review electric rates is “corrupt” and should be repealed. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

ALSO:
• The CEO of Dominion Energy told South Carolina lawmakers this week that its proposal to buy SCANA is off the table if it cannot recover costs of a failed nuclear expansion from ratepayers. (Post and Courier)
• During the South Carolina hearing, a state legislator asks utility lobbyists and representatives present to stand, saying “that is what the people of South Carolina, the ratepayers, are up against.” (Energy & Policy Institute via Twitter) 

PIPELINES: Environmental groups ask a Baton Rouge judge to force Bayou Bridge pipeline developers to release various documents related to the proposed 162-mile crude oil pipeline project. (The Advocate)

NUCLEAR: A little-known legislative committee report released over a decade ago has been driving the push for a nuclear expansion in South Carolina, and its dire predictions of power shortages have been wildly off base. (The Nerve)

POWER PLANTS
• Florida Power & Light wants to replace two older generators with a 1,163-megawatt natural gas plant, but the Sierra Club says that ignores cleaner alternatives. (Sun Sentinel)
• Dominion Energy plans to mothball nine of its older, inefficient and rarely-used generating units, which account for less than 1 percent of the company’s generation. (Associated Press)

COAL: Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship, convicted of a misdemeanor for his role in a deadly 2010 coal mine explosion, kicks off a U.S. Senate campaign tonight in West Virginia. (Associated Press)

OIL & GAS
• A North Carolina county rescinds a 2015 pro-drilling resolution after 200 people pack a public meeting to oppose the expansion of offshore drilling. (Coastal Review)
• Gov. Ralph Northam has formally asked that Virginia be exempted from the Trump administration’s offshore drilling expansion plan. (Suffolk News-Herald)

TRANSMISSION: Appalachian Power is rebuilding more than 50 miles of transmission lines in four West Virginia counties. (Utility Products)

SOLAR: The University of Virginia launches a new website that lets people track the school’s solar energy production. (WVIR)

COMMENTARY:
• A columnist speculates on three ways the Dominion-SCANA deal could fall apart. (The State)
• A West Virginia newspaper editorial outlines the high costs of ignoring climate change. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

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