Daily Digest

Coal baron’s trial may turn on his secret recordings

BLANKENSHIP TRIAL: A verdict in the trial of coal baron Don Blankenship may hinge on telephone conversations he secretly recorded. (The New York Times)

ALSO: Federal regulators cited Massey Energy for more than 5,000 safety violations in the 28 months before the deadly mine explosion that is at the center of the criminal trial of CEO Don Blankenship. (West Virginia Public Broadcasting)

FRACKING: A new study concludes fracking inevitably pollutes water and air and harms people. (InsideClimate News)

SOLAR:
• Duke Energy plans to boost solar investments in Florida to about 35 megawatts by 2018. (WUSF Public Radio)
• Santee Cooper’s member utilities in South Carolina offer a solar rebate and boost a credit for excess generation by home and business solar systems. (The Post & Courier)
• More consumers in Florida are learning about the potential advantages of buying electricity from someone other than their utility.  (The Daytona Beach News-Journal)

COAL ASH:
• Utilities, effective today, are required to control ash that blows away while it’s being transported or stored. (Knoxville News Sentinel)
• What to do with 140 million tons of coal ash in North Carolina? This startup has a plan to vitrify some of it and sell the rest. (Triple Pundit)
• North Carolina issues final permits to move coal ash from two of Duke Energy’s power plant sites to an in-state clay mine. (Charlotte Business Journal)

OIL & GAS:
• Kinder Morgan will need about 10,000 truck deliveries per month for the first six months to expand its Elba Island, Georgia liquified natural gas facility. (Savannah Morning News)
• Fifty construction jobs are slated for Appomattox County, Virginia to build a natural gas supply facility there. (Lynchburg News & Advance)

COAL:
• West Virginia leaders are banking on more federal aid to diversify its coal-dependent economy. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• A plan to create jobs in Kentucky and West Virginia to reclaim abandoned coal mines is slowly gathering support among policy leaders there. (Lexington Herald-Leader)
• Despite a helpful Supreme Court ruling on mercury and toxic emissions, utilities are sticking with plans to retire coal plants. (Utility Dive)
An energy summit in Jacksonville hears a plea not to abandon coal for power generation. (Jacksonville Business Journal)

PIPELINES:
• A Georgia environmental group steps up its efforts to block the the Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline proposed from Alabama, through Georgia, to Florida. (Ocala Star Banner)
• Pipeline developers are grappling with increasingly sophisticated local protests by landowners and environmentalists. (Platts)

2010 OIL SPILL: Debate grows in St. Petersburg, Florida over how to spend its $6.5 million share of the BP settlement funds. (Saint Peters Blog)

COMMENTARY: The North Carolina legislature is wrong to push fracking on localities whether its leaders and residents like it or not. (Greensboro News & Record)

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