Daily Digest

Clean Power Plan could accelerate utility shifts

CLEAN POWER PLAN:
• To be unveiled today, the final rule is stronger than earlier drafts. (The New York Times)
• U.S. EPA’s final Clean Power Plan will not base state emissions targets, in part, on estimates about how much they could boost efficiency, an administration official said. (Greenwire)
• The choices consumers have about electricity are among the possible shifts looming if the Clean Power Plan survives legal challenges. (The Wall Street Journal)
• Setting the stage for its formal unveiling, President Obama asserts in a short White House video that “Climate change is not a problem for another generation — not anymore.” (Politico)
• Kentucky, West Virginia and other states opposing the final rule ironically would sacrifice their flexibility to comply. (The Washington Post)
Some in West Virginia call for the state and utilities in it to embrace the final rule. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• Speculation over future of carbon-capture and storage technology for future coal-fired power plants may be addressed in the Clean Power Plan. (Greenwire)

UTILITIES:
• Utilities are increasingly interested in new technologies to help give customers more control over their energy use. (Greentech Media)
• A utility expert testifying for the Virginia Attorney General’s office has testified customers of Dominion Virginia Power should get a collective refund of $11.2 million for excessive rates in 2013 and 2014. (The Daily Progress)
Appalachian Power wants more charges imposed on rooftop solar and dismisses calls for more energy efficiency. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
Duke Energy has completed the acquisition of several eastern North Carolina municipal utilities, giving it full ownership of four coal-fired and one nuclear power plant. (Winston-Salem Journal)

SOLAR: The tally of bulk-purchasing co-ops in West Virginia is at least four and growing. (Clean Technica)

NATURAL GAS VS COAL: North Carolinians disagree over whether Duke Energy is reaping a PR “bonanza” by shifting from coal to natural gas. (Greensboro News & Record)

COAL ASH: A moratorium in North Carolina on using coal ash as constructional fill is ending while regulators have yet to develop new standards to reduce the public’s exposure to its toxicity, the Sierra Club says. (Winston-Salem Journal)

COAL:
Coal-related jobs in Eastern Kentucky declined more than 10 percent during the 2nd quarter and are now at the lowest total in more than a century. (Lexington Herald-Leader)
• About 180 employees were laid off Friday by Walther Energy in Alabama and the company signaled more layoffs are to come. (Tuscaloosa News)

PIPELINES: Environmental groups want to intervene in the fight against Kinder Morgan and its proposed Palmetto Pipeline in Georgia. (Savannah Morning News)

2016 CAMPAIGN:
• President Obama’s climate policies could force a robust climate debate from 2016 candidates. (The New York Times)
• The largest Florida corporate donor to a super political action committee backing former Gov. Jeb Bush’s presidential run is NextEra Energy Inc., the parent of Florida Power & Light. (Associated Press)

OIL & GAS:
A bill passed by the Senate energy committee harbors more revenue and job bonanza for Louisiana and much of the oil and gas industry. (Houma Today)
Florida Sen. Bill Nelson pledged to use every procedural move available to block drilling off Florida’s coasts. (Saint Peters Blog)

NUCLEAR: Georgia Power has received half of its $1.8 billion of loans guaranteed by the federal government for building Plant Vogtle. (Atlanta Business Chronicle)

COMMENTARY:
“Convoluted negative-sounding language” in the initial solar energy choice ballot initiative in Florida will likely prove its demise. (Saint Peters Blog)
• Congress is moving in the wrong direction by trying to ease rules for coal ash disposal. (The Virginian-Pilot)
New rules in Virginia regulating the treatment of extra power from solar systems would undermine their benefit to users. (Power to the People VA blog)

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