Daily Digest

Virginia panel protects Dominion, Appalachian rate freezes

UTILITIES: A Virginia Senate panel Monday killed a bill that would have undone a rate freeze that was enacted in response to the Clean Power Plan and has netted millions for the state’s largest utilities. (The Roanoke Times)

ALSO: South Carolina utility regulators weren’t the only ones being wined and dined by energy companies — state lawmakers who help choose the regulators have also been treated to “appreciation dinners” by the state’s largest utilities. (Post and Courier)

COAL ASH: Duke Energy accused environmental critics in North Carolina of false analysis and Pollyanna hindsight and said the lack of liners in its coal ash pits was once “considered a feature, rather than a flaw. (WRAL)

OIL & GAS
• Mississippi environmental groups oppose the Trump administration’s plans to expand offshore oil and gas drilling and called on Gov. Phil Bryant to seek an exemption or protections like Florida was granted. (Clarion Ledger)
• Even if the White House reverses itself on the Florida exemption, don’t expect offshore drilling rigs off the coast of Miami Beach or anywhere else along Florida’s Atlantic coast. (Miami Herald)
• A fact-check finds Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who campaigned in 2010 on expanding oil drilling, has reversed his position on the issue. (Tampa Bay Times)
• Florida Sen. Bill Nelson calls the exemption negotiated between the governor and White House a “political stunt.” (Bay News 9)

SOLAR
• A political shift in the Virginia Legislature has brought a flood of new clean energy and energy efficiency bills, including several solar proposals. (The Energy Collective)
A solar farm in Bedford, Virginia is the town’s second source of renewable energy. (The Roanoke Times)
• Coronal Energy has closed a $235 million financing deal for its 120 MW, three-site Gulf Coast Solar Center portfolio. (Solar Industry)

PIPELINES: Atlantic Coast Pipeline opponents say Dominion Energy is recycling an old and unsupported argument that this week’s cold snap underscores the need for the pipeline. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

COMMENTARY: Fact-checking the Trump administration’s claims on ‘saving’ coal country. (Washington Post)

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