Daily Digest

Duke Energy pushes back on coal ash charges while students protest

COAL ASH:
• Duke Energy appeals $25 million fine by North Carolina environmental regulators over coal-ash pollution. (Associated Press)
Activists at North Carolina State University complaining about Duke Energy’s “dirty energy” disrupted a speech to business students by Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good. (Triangle Business Journal, North Carolina)
Judge seals motion by Duke Energy to delay sentencing on coal ash charges. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• North Carolina taking public comments, slate public hearings on coal-ash storage in open-pit clay mines. (News & Record, Raleigh, NC)

UTILITIES: The parent company of Duke Energy’s utilities in the Carolinas and Florida is repurchasing about 19.5 million of it shares. (Charlotte Business Journal)

SOLAR:  Two Florida bills designed to provide tax savings for residents who install solar on their homes appear dead in the 2015 Legislative session. (Saint Peters Blog, Florida)

CLIMATE:
North Carolina and other states that do not recognize climate risks in hazard mitigation plans face losing Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance. (WSOC-TV, Charlotte)
• NASA images show decrease in West Virginia’s air pollution but increase in surface mining throughout the state. (West Virginia Public Radio)
• The West Virginia Board of Education voted 6-2 to allow classroom debates on climate change starting in 2016. (The Charleston Gazette, West Virginia)
Climakaze Miami festival this weekend aims to engage artists, environmental activists and the public to address and inspire action on climate change. (Miami Herald)

ENERGY EFFICIENCY: Power distributors question costs of TVA’s proposed energy efficiency initiatives (The Knoxville News-Sentinel, Knoxville, TV)

COAL:
Southern Coal seeking to hire a total of 100 mining workers in West Virginia, Kentucky and Virginia. (The Roanoke Times, Virginia)
• The start of ex-coal baron Don Blankenship’s criminal trial on whether he conspired to violate coal mining safety standards in West Virginia has been bumped back to July. (West Virginia Public Broadcasting)

OIL & GAS:
• With draft report, a Virginia task force is seeking if and how the state can prevent and respond to derailment of trains carrying volatile crude oil. (Daily Press, Virginia)
U.S. House majority whip Steve Scalise, R-LA, steps up Congressional tours of offshore oil and natural gas drilling rigs aimed at expanding exports of natural gas from the Gulf of Mexico. (The News, Brunswick, Georgia)
Georgia’s two U.S. Senators have joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers asking for Georgia and other coastal states to share in the profits from developed offshore energy. (Fierce Energy)
• Concerned landowners and other activists send Virginia Gov. McAuliffe 5,000-signature petition demanding to stop the Atlantic Coast Pipeline slated to run through Central Virginia.  (WWBT-TV, Richmond, VA)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Here is where to charge an EV in Athens, GA. (Athens Banner-Herald)

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