Daily Digest

EPA data: no ‘systematic’ impacts on water from fracking

FRACKING:
EPA data point to no “widespread, systematic impacts” on drinking water from fracking; the impact on North Carolina policy is unclear. (Greenwire; Triangle Business Journal, North Carolina)
• The Arkansas Supreme Court rules sand used for fracking was not subject to state’s sales tax. (Associated Press)

CLIMATE:
• NOAA research debunks claims of a slowdown in global warming. (The New York Times)
• Mississippi’s Senators join a push to stop the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. (The Meridian Star)

BIOMASS: A new report finds that burning wood pellets to generate electricity produces 2.5 times more carbon pollution than coal. (Fierce Energy)

SOLAR:
• A South Carolina Electric and Gas proposal would make solar energy a more financially viable option for communities and companies. (WTOC-TV, Beaufort, South Carolina)
• Solar advocates assert — and Georgia Power denies — it will gain a cost advantage selling residential solar systems after July 1. (Morris News Service)
Florida Power & Light and Florida International University unveil a solar system and research facility in Miami. (Miami Herald)
• North Carolina solar installer Geenex is creating a Center for Energy Education to train workers and promote clean energy. (Charlotte Business Journal)

RENEWABLE ENERGY: Bills to slow renewable energy development in North Carolina face growing opposition. (Southern Environmental Law Center blog)

OFFSHORE DRILLING:
• U.S. Rep. David Jolly, R-FL, offers a bill to extend the ban on drilling off the state’s Gulf Coast to 2027. (Tampa Bay Newspapers)
• A coalition appeals to the U.S. Interior Dept. to block drilling off the Mid- and South-Atlantic coast. (South Strand News, South Carolina)

COAL ASH:
North Carolina officials order retests of  water wells for possible contamination near Duke Energy coal ash dumps. (Winston-Salem Journal)
• More than six years and $1.1 billion later, the EPA declares the 2014 Kingston, Tennessee coal ash spill cleanup complete. (Knoxville News Sentinel)
• An Appeals Court resurrects a lawsuit by workers who cleaned up the 2014 Kingston coal ash spill claiming they weren’t protected from toxic fly ash. (Knoxville News Sentinel)
• Demolition of its Cape Fear coal plant marks a milestone in Duke Energy’s push to clean up its 5.6 million tons of coal ash stored nearby. (Greensboro News & Record)
• A map with fresh data illustrates the widespread contamination of drinking water from coal ash disposal sites in North Carolina. (Southern Environmental Center)

COAL:
Coal industry layoffs and low energy prices are resulting in lower than projected tax collections. (The Charleston Gazette)
• A judge denies nine motions to dismiss lawsuits against former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship. (Associated Press)

OIL & GAS: Marathon Petroleum expands its refinery in Catlettsburg, Kentucky to process crude from West Virginia and other states. (The Herald-Dispatch, West Virginia)

PIPELINES: A group of Nelson County, Virginia residents protested against the planned Atlantic Coast Pipeline at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington. (Lynchburg News & Advance)

UTILITIES:
TVA should remain a government utility – report. (Knoxville News Sentinel)
• The Danville, Virginia City Council rejects selling its electric utility. (Danville Register & Bee)

COMMENTARY:
• A West Virginia newspaper calls on lawmakers to join in defeating EPA’s Clean Power Plan. (Wheeling News-Register)
• “Long considered the land of God, Guns and Fossil Energy, the South is changing”. (Distributed Iteration)

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