Daily Digest

Jack Abramoff jumps into Florida solar fight

FLORIDA: Former mega-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who did time for corruption and now considers himself a reformer, is supporting a proposed ballot measure advancing solar energy in Florida. (Palm Beach Post)

TECO ENERGY SALE:
• Leaders in Tampa Bay have high expectations for community involvement by the would-be owner of Teco Energy, Canadian-based Emera. (The Tampa Tribune)
• Emera and Teco Energy see exit from coal production business “sooner rather than later.” (Platts)
• The CEO and two longtime members of the board of directors of Teco Energy will get a big payday when it sells itself to Emera. (Tampa Bay Business Journal)

NORTH CAROLINA: The new president of Duke Energy-North Carolina won’t estimate the cost to dispose of its massive amounts of coal ash and its effect on electricity rates. (Greensboro News & Record)

LOUISIANA: Gov. Bobby Jindal’s balking at spending cuts amid low oil revenues means the next governor will likely face a budget shortfall. (Houma Today)

SOLAR: Dominion Resources has agreed to enter into a partnership with SunEdison to sell a one-third percent of its ownership in 425 megawatts of solar generating capacity in six states. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

FUEL CELLS: Could fuel cells help lower carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants? (Greentech Media)

OFFSHORE DRILLING: Rising sea levels make access to Louisiana’s Highway 1 increasingly difficult for companies serving oil and gas production companies in the Gulf of Mexico. (EnergyWire)

NUCLEAR: Due to budget constraints, federal regulators have ended a study to determine the risks of cancer near nuclear power plants. (The Hill)

UTILITIES: Piedmont Natural Gas has reached a new agreement with North Carolina’s utility customer advocate on how it will charge customers for safety upgrades to its pipeline system. (Charlotte Business Journal)

OIL TRAINS: U.S. data show nearly 15,000 schools with 5.7 million students sit inside the so-called “blast zone” of potential oil train accidents. (Reuters)

COMMENTARY:
• The future of vulnerable communities like Hampton Roads, Virginia depends on consumers and those who represent and serve them becoming smarter about using energy. (The Virginian-Pilot)
• Asking voters to decide about access to rooftop solar systems in Florida is “probably not” a suitable question as a proposed amendment to the state’s Constitution. (Orlando Weekly)
• A former member of the Florida House speaks out for a growing role for nuclear power. (Miami Herald)

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