Daily Digest

Tampa among Florida cities grasping climate’s impact on future growth

CORRECTION: Items in Wednesday’s and Thursday’s digests misidentified the EPA pollution rule being discussed by the Supreme Court this week. It is the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, not the Clean Power Plan.

CLIMATE:
Tampa, Temple Terrance and Plant City join the tally of Florida cities adding climate change this year to their comprehensive plans, which the communities use as a blueprint for future growth. (The Tampa Tribune)
Florida’s senior U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson offered an amendment to budget legislation that would prevent the federal government from prohibiting  government employees from discussing climate change. (Saint Peters Blog)

SOLAR:
• Enough signatures for a proposed solar referendum in Florida have been verified and the measure has been submitted by state elections officials to Attorney General Pam Bondi. (Saint Peters Blog)
• North Carolina produced 0.7% of its total power generation from utility-scale solar projects last year, but it was enough for the state to rank fifth in the nation. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• Orlando ranked No. 40 in Environment America’s annual Shining Cities solar report, tailing No. 19 Jacksonville and No. 31 Tampa. Miami came in at No. 56 on the list. (Orlando Business Journal)

OIL & GAS:
• Safety concerns and environmental protection are pitted against economic development in the final phase of public hearings for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. (West Virginia Public Broadcasting)
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe defends the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline by a consortium of power companies led by Dominion which would funnel natural gas from West Virginia to North Carolina via Virginia. (The News Virginian, Waynesboro)
The Augusta (VA) County Board of Supervisors is to ask the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to extend the comment period on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline for another 30 days. (The News Virginian, Waynesboro)
• The Constitution Pipeline, a Marcellus shale region project proposed by a group of partners that includes Piedmont Natural Gas of Charlotte, NC, has won an important ruling that could help start construction. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• The Georgia Dept. of Transportation said it, not Palmetto Pipeline developer Kinder Morgan, will run a public hearing to determine if the state declares eminent domain for the $1 billion, 210-mile pipeline planned from August through Savannah. (Savannah Morning News)

COAL:
• Murray Energy is seeking approval from the West Virginia Dept. of Environmental Protection to significantly expand a coal slurry impoundment near the Robinson Run Mine. (The Exponent Telegram, Clarksburg, WV)
• Defense attorneys for former Massey CEO Don Blankenship pressed a federal judge to delay his criminal trial to address several pre-trial motions related to the 2010 coal mine explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia. (The Charleston Gazette, West Virginia)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:  Are public charging stations not as important as people think? (Palm Beach Post, Florida)

UTILITIES:
• The massive coal ash spill on the Dan River cost Duke Energy Corp. CEO Lynn Good about $606,000 from her compensation package in 2014. (Charlotte Business Journal)
Dominion Virginia Power has chosen Greenville County, VA as the site of a proposed 1,600-megawatt natural gas-fired power station. (Associated Press)
Two former Bristol Virginia Utilities Authority executives have pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges stemming from kickback schemes and face up to five years in prison.
• Florida Power & Light unveiled its Power Delivery Diagnostic Center, designed to improve reliability and reduce the duration of storm-related outages for its 4.7 million Florida customers. (Florida Trend)

GULF OIL SPILL RECOVERY: Higher education leaders in Mississippi are eyeing Gulf oil spill recovery money as a possible long-term financing source for Louisiana’s colleges. (Associated Press)

ENERGY LOANS: The U.S. Dept. of Energy has reached a conditional, $259 million, loan agreement with Alcoa that will fund expansion of a Tennessee facility that makes high-strength aluminum used in fuel-efficient cars. (Associated Press)

NUCLEAR: A Browns Ferry nuclear plant worker was cut and suffered radiation exposure Wednesday after a five-foot fall at the nuclear plant in Athens, AL. (Alabama Media Group)

SUSTAINABILITY: A New Orleans-area entrepreneur developing a carbon-dioxide storage system to help restore wetlands shared her lessons learned. (The Times-Picayune, New Orleans)

COMMENTARY: Comedy Show anchor Jon Stewart mocked Florida’s banning “climate change” and shared synonyms Floridians state workers can use, e.g. “moisture inconvenience.” (Saint Peters Blog)

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