Daily Digest

Westinghouse wasted millions of dollars on unnecessary supplies for South Carolina nuclear project

NUCLEAR: While building South Carolina’s now-failed Summer nuclear project, contractor Westinghouse wasted millions of dollars on unnecessary supplies, and those costs could be passed on to the state’s utility customers in the coming decades. (Post and Courier)

ALSO:
• The incoming president of S.C. Electric & Gas says he wants to restore “trust and credibility” following the failure of the Summer project. (Post and Courier)
• A member of South Carolina’s Public Service Commission has resigned as the board prepares to consider whether utility customers should get their money back for the Summer plant. (The State)
• Georgia state regulators are holding hearings this week on the future of the troubled Vogtle nuclear plant project. (WABE)

PIPELINES: Despite insisting on state authority over environmental matters, West Virginia leaders gave up that authority under state and federal water pollution rules for the Mountain Valley pipeline. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

UTILITIES:
• Utility companies in the Southeast estimate hurricanes caused as much as $2.5 billion in damages. (Bloomberg)
• Duke Energy has announced a plan intended to strengthen the energy grid in South Carolina by investing $3 billion over the next 10 years to make improvements. (Greenville News)
• An analysis highlights five key takeaways from Duke Energy’s new quarterly earnings report, including the impact of Hurricane Irma and natural gas pipeline approval. (Charlotte Observer)

RENEWABLE ENERGY:
• The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a $2.5 billion investment in rural electric infrastructure improvements in 27 states, including millions to build solar farms in North Carolina. (Utility Dive)
• Possible actions from the Trump administration in 2018 could end up harming the wind and solar industries. (Bloomberg)

CLIMATE: A new federal report reaffirms that human activity is the main reason for changing climate conditions in the U.S. (Politico)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: Following the EPA’s announcement that it will hold a public hearing in West Virginia on its proposed repeal of the country’s Clean Power Plan, the Sierra Club says it “could very well be a sham of a hearing for the Trump administration to come to a state that basically is where their base is at.” (Metro News)

COAL ASH:
• Many Tennesseans oppose the EPA’s proposed repeal of current and planned pollution controls that would affect the state, including those that oversee coal ash storage. (WMOT)
• The CEO of Duke Energy says the question of who pays coal ash costs may have to be decided in court. (Charlotte Business Journal, subscription)

OIL: Exports could help invigorate a Gulf of Mexico oilfield, but it would depend on whether terminals, like one in Louisiana, can continue to increase storage and shipping capacity. (Daily Comet)

SOLAR:
• States in the Southeast are rapidly expanding their solar markets despite the lack of renewable-energy-friendly policies and the reluctance from Republican-led state legislatures to address climate change. (InsideClimate News)
• Georgia Power customers in Atlanta who can’t install solar panels on their rooftops will be able to invest in solar farms. (Atlanta Business Chronicle, subscription)

COMMENTARY:
• Virginia’s soon-to-be-elected governor should focus on advanced energy, which is “the sleeping giant” of the state’s energy economy, says a columnist. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
• A guest columnist says a FERC-approved plan to reverse the flow in a pipeline and change the product transmitted from natural gas to natural gas liquids is dangerous(Advocate-Messenger)
• Political parties must work together on climate change, because there will never be enough taxpayer dollars to fix all of its consequences. (Virginian-Pilot)
• An editorial board says the Everglades should be off limits to oil drilling following a ruling that could open the door to more exploration there. (Sun Sentinel)

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