Daily Digest

Georgia bill authorizing third-party financing for solar ready to be signed into law

SOLAR: A bill allowing people in Georgia to finance solar panels the same way they borrow money for homes or lease cars is headed to Gov. Nathan Deal. (Athens Banner-Herald)

LEED BUILDINGS: A bill passed by the Georgia legislature that would effectively ban state-owned buildings from using the green certification program known as LEED is heading to the desk of Gov. Nathan Deal. (WABE National Public Radio, Atlanta)

CLIMATE:
Rise in government flood insurance rates to mirror growing risks of rising sea-levels in Virginia and elsewhere. (The Washington Post)
Progress Florida Poll: climate change is a top issue for Floridians (Saint Peters Blog)
• Former Virginia Lieutenant Governor and current Congressman Don Byer said global warming killed more than 7,000 Americans last year. Politicfact.com researched that claim and found otherwise. (Politifact.com)

UTILITY: Experts question whether $600,000+ reduction in 2014 pay to Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good was mostly symbolic. (Charlotte Business Journal)

COAL:
• Current and former Duke Energy officials face a shareholder lawsuit — the 6th overall against Duke — over damage done to the company’s stock price by coal-ash contamination in North Carolina and Virginia. (Charlotte Business Journal)
Duke Energy and Eden, NC city officials are discussing possibly keeping some of the coal ash generated at the nearby Dan River Steam Station close by forever. (Greensboro News & Record)
Closures of aging coal-fired power plants in West Virginia are tied most to tougher emissions regulations and inexpensive natural gas but also to policies embracing wind and solar energy. (The Roanoke Times)

OIL & GAS:
• Oil and gas companies could be drilling in North Carolina in as little as 90 days, under a bill signed last week by Gov. Pat McCrory. (The Daily News, Jacksonville, NC)
• Virginia Beach’s Restaurant Association opposes drilling for oil and gas off the coast, joining what appears to be a growing opposition in Atlantic coastal communities. (The Virginian-Pilot, Hampton Roads)

EMISSIONS: Due largely to coal-fired power plants, toxic emissions in Virginia increased 10 percent in 2013 from the previous year after years of declines, a new report says. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

RECOVERING FROM COAL:
• Could vines – the wine grapes growing on a former strip mine in the hills of Seco, KY – help to draw visitors? (Associated Press)
Hard hit Kentucky coal communities are the targets of federal grants aimed at reviving coal-based economies. (WUKY Public Radio, Eastern Kentucky)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Test-driving the shopping experience at Charlotte’s Tesla store (Charlotte Business Journal)

EFFICIENCY: Virginia Tech selected to continue developing innovative building automation system. (Southeast Green blog)

COMMENTARY:
• Exploding the myths involving climate change. (The Florida Times-Union)
• Climate change not real? Tell it to the ‘super-termites’ (Palm Beach Post)

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