Daily Digest

Florida bill would exempt solar systems from property taxes

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SOLAR:
• Legislation to exempt the value of solar systems from Floridians’ property taxes unanimously clears a Senate panel. (Florida Politics)
• Solar choice advocates say a proposed amendment to the Florida’s Constitution backed by utilities fails to meet key tests to get on the November ballot. (Saint Peters Blog)
• Solar advocates officially suspend their campaign for signatures to secure their once-proposed amendment to Florida’s Constitution and shift their focus to the 2018 ballot. (The Tampa Tribune)

WIND: A developer asks the city of Elm Springs, Arkansas for advice on developing a controversial wind energy system close by. (KHOG-TV)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Georgia’s governor plans to defend the state’s elimination of a $5,000 EV tax credit and imposition of a new $200 annual fee. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: Alabama delays compliance work leaving it vulnerable to the imposition of a federal plan. (Bloomberg BNA)

CLIMATE: A researcher from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says the success of the Clean Air Act may increase the intensity of Atlantic storms. (New Orleans Times-Picayune)

COAL:
• Arch Coal, which operates seven mines in West Virginia and elsewhere in Appalachia, files for bankruptcy. (Reuters)
• Blackhawk Mining idles operations in southern West Virginia and eliminates 146 jobs. (West Virginia Public Broadcasting)
• How several generations of miners in western Kentucky are trying to hold on to a livelihood that is fading away. (National Public Radio)
• Two West Virginia women allege ineffective safety policies for the death of a family member in a suit filed against Murray Energy. (West Virginia Record)

COAL ASH:
• A federal judge approves two Duke Energy environmental compliance plans tied to the settlement of $102 million in criminal penalties. (Raleigh News & Observer)
• A trio of environmental groups challenging Duke Energy’s coal ash disposal plans asks a court to overturn disposal permits issued by North Carolina. (WRAL-TV)
Duke Energy is paying a court-ordered attorney about $160,000 a month to monitor its disposal operations. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• The TVA seeks the public’s input for a proposed dewatering operation at the coal ash plant that suffered the nation’s largest ash disposal accident in 2008. (WVLT-TV)

OFFSHORE DRILLING: The Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce in North Carolina slates an energy forum about coastal energy initiatives for January 28 in Nags Head. (Coastal Review Online)

VIRGINIA:
• A lawmaker allied with clean energy advocates introduces a bill urging the state to join a regional initiative to trade greenhouse gas emissions. (The Virginian-Pilot)
• The Virginia Oil & Gas Board approved disbursements of $4.4 million  in 2015,  the most money ever released in one year, due to largely to new rights to coalbed methane royalties. (Bristol Herald-Courier)

COMMENTARY:
• Here’s how the bankruptcy of Arch Coal presents opportunities for cleaner energy sources. (PV Magazine)
• Municipal, technology and energy leaders are gathering in Charlotte this week to kick start “smart city” initiatives across the country. (Charlotte Observer)
• In his State of the Union address tonight, President Obama should call for banning drilling off the Atlantic Coast. (Grist)

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