Daily Digest

Environmental group targets Duke’s bid to block solar sales

SOLAR: Environment America takes aim at Duke Energy’s opposition to solar companies selling power directly to customers — rather than to utilities — in North Carolina and Florida. (Triad Business Journal)

ALSO:
• A faith-based group is pushing to replicate a North Carolina church’s agreement to purchase power from an entity other than a utility. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• A utility-backed political committee created to block a consumer solar choice constitutional amendment in Florida has raised $1.4 million. (The Tampa Tribune)
• Should ratepayers be prohibited from generating their own electricity and buying power from another entity? (Free Speech Radio News)
• Public utility Santee Cooper floats fees to stunt solar’s growth in South Carolina. (Southern Environmental Law Center)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Electric car maker Tesla Motors unveils a new autopilot system that lets cars change lanes by themselves. (National Public Radio)

DEMAND RESPONSE: Backers of a power grid rule designed to conserve power and stabilize the grid are wary of it getting struck down by the Supreme Court. (Greenwire)

NUCLEAR: The final regulatory approval to begin operating the TVA’s Watts Bar 2 reactor is “expected within the next couple of weeks.” (Platts)

UTILITIES: Governance issues escalate as two more members of the Jacksonville Electric Authority resign, leaving it without a quorum. (The Florida Times-Union)

COAL ASH: Environmental advocates are closely monitoring Georgia Power’s plans to deal with 29 coal ash impoundments and Alabama Power’s plans for 16 ash ponds. (Southern Environmental Law Center)

BLANKENSHIP TRIAL:
• A former Massey Energy executive testified that he was pressured to produce more coal while ignoring some safety rules. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• Federal prosecutors are wrestling with defense attorneys over the role of federal mine safety regulations as part of Don Blankenship’s defense. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

COAL:
• The Obama administration is granting $14.5 million to 36 programs designed to help coal-dependent communities cope with economic hardships. (The Hill)
• About $800,000 in federal grants is headed to West Virginia to help diversify its coal-based economy. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

OIL & GAS:
• A proposed city ordinance in Mobile, Alabama to regulate oil storage tanks near a minority residential community draws attentions in front of a national convention there. (Alabama Media Group)
• Emerald Isle, North Carolina is among the latest towns to officially oppose offshore drilling. (Carteret County News-Times)

COMMENTARY:
Citizens should fight back against the nationwide assault on solar energy by utilities and big-business advocacy groups. (Huffington Post)
• Florida Power & Light is choosing a cynical tactic to defeat a proposed solar choice state Constitution amendment. (Palm Beach Post)

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