Daily Digest

Atlanta adopts sustainability ordinance to reduce commercial energy use

SUSTAINABILITY: Owners of commercial buildings in Atlanta will be required to keep track of the electricity and water they use and report the data under a sustainability ordinance approved unanimously by the city council. (Atlanta Business Chronicle)

SOLAR:
• The North Carolina General Assembly sent a bill to Gov. Pat McCrory that would create a “soft landing” for ending the state’s 35 percent tax credit for solar and other renewable-energy projects. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• A new law in Virginia is aimed at clarifying how most homeowners associations no longer have the power to deny property owners who want to install solar panels. (WVTF Public Radio)
• Dominion Virginia Power has installed a solar power system at Randolph-Macon College and paired it with the first battery energy storage system as part of the utility’s solar partnership program. (Penn Energy)

CLIMATE:  Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe signs a clean energy law to help meet the U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan targets. (NRDC Switchboard)

OIL & GAS:
• Nearly 600 people pack the first hearing in Georgia about Kinder Morgan’s proposed Palmetto Pipeline. (Savannah Morning News)
• Exxon Mobil has agreed to pay almost $5 million in government penalties and to take corrective and precautionary actions as a result of an oil spill in Mayflower, Arkansas in 2013. (Arkansas Online)
• A Louisiana Senate committee has given initial approval to legislation to encourage settlements in lengthy and often contentious “legacy” lawsuits over cleanup of oil and gas contamination. (The Houma Courier)
Experts continue debate damage to the Gulf of Mexico’s ecosystem five years after the BP oil spill. (National Public Radio)
• Fracking helped double West Virginia’s oil and gas severance tax collections in 2014. (West Virginia Public Broadcasting)

WIND: As many as three offshore wind-power lease sites will be approved for North Carolina next year, Abby Hopper, director of the Federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. (Triad Business Journal)

COAL ASH: Area residents are told not to drink water after tests of 87 private wells near eight Duke Energy’s coal-fired power plants in North Carolina showed results that failed to meet state groundwater standards. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR: Duke Energy is counting on construction of four nuclear reactors in South Carolina and Georgia and a reactor set to open in Tennessee to improve the climate for a new reactor of its own. (Charlotte Business Journal)

UTILITIES: A judge has affirmed the right of Kentucky Power to purchase part of a West Virginia power plant. (Associated Press)

ALTERNATIVE ENERGY: The mayor of Gainesville, Florida is questioning the legality of a $105 million change to a contract between the city’s power utility and the company running a biomass plant. (The Gainesville Sun)

COMMENTARY:
Mississippi has been generously dealt with by BP for the damage its 2010 oil spill caused and by the federal government’s determination to help make recovery possible. (Northern Mississippi Daily Journal)
• It’s time to repeal North Carolina renewable energy standards. (Beaufort Observer)

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