Daily Digest

Veteran-installed solar systems are sprouting throughout the South

SOLAR: A veteran-owned contractor is installing large solar systems on VA hospitals in Tennessee, Georgia and other states. (Knoxville News Sentinel)

ALSO:
• A panel of Florida economists is reviewing the financial impact on ratepayers of a Constitutional solar power amendment proposed by utilities. (Saint Peters Blog)
• A  solar energy program at a small college in West Virginia gets a $10,000 boost from the Dominion Foundation. (West Virginia Public Broadcasting)

UTILITIES:
• The election of two new utility commission members prompts a bond rating agency to downgrade Mississippi Power’s debt. (Associated Press)
• Utility regulators open a hearing on whether Mississippi Power deserves an 18 percent emergency rate hike to pay for its coal gasification plant. (Associated Press)

COAL:
• U.S. coal producers are swimming against a powerful current of regulatory and economic changes that are shrinking markets and driving down stock prices. (ClimateWire)
Alpha Natural Resources is using its bankruptcy proceedings to try to avoid paying legal fees incurred by the head of Massey Energy, which it acquired in 2011. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
CSX seeks more cuts to improve its rail shipments in Kentucky, Tennessee and elsewhere in Appalachia. (Platts)

HYDROPOWER: Does Georgia have enough potential to justify building new hydropower plants? (Atlanta Journal-Constitution / Politfact)

CLIMATE:
• An agreement by coal giant Peabody Energy to report risks associated with global warming is an “unprecedented first step” toward forcing honest disclosures by fossil fuel producers. (InsideClimate News)
Secretary of State John Kerry spotlights the climate risks to civil society and national security during a speech in Virginia. (Daily Press)

UTILITIES:
• Stagnant demand for electricity may drive more utility mergers similar to those led by Southern Co. and Duke Energy. (USA Today)
• While one shareholder suit against Duke Energy over coal ash issues is settled, a new lawsuit against its Board of Directors is filed in Delaware. (Charlotte Business Journal)

CLEAN POWER PLAN:
West Virginia’s Attorney General claims technologies to achieve the EPA’s emissions reductions do not yet exist on a commercial scale. (Metro News)
Tennessee is one of only four states that have yet to take sides for or against the Clean Power Plan. (Utility Dive)

KENTUCKY: Governor-elect Matt Bevin says he will challenge the EPA’s “war on coal” by asserting the state’s Constitutional rights. (Climate Progress)

OIL & GAS: Railroads lose their bid to stop new federal crude-by-rail rules which require new brakes on trains. (The Wall Street Journal)

POLLUTION: A university professor warns of health risks tied to Kentucky’s air pollution from power plants. (The Louisville Courier-Journal)

2010 BP OIL SPILL: The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has approved more than $21 million to restore natural resources in Alabama. (Alabama Media Group)

SUSTAINABILITY: Saving green by going green is the focus of this week’s Bluegrass Forever Green Summit in Lexington, Kentucky. (WUKY Public Radio)

COAL ASH: An Alabama filmmaker previews her documentaries about the health and environmental risks of coal ash. (The Gadsden Times)

COMMENTARY:
• Virginia can lower its carbon emissions under the federal Clean Power Plan and become a net-seller of carbon credits as part of a regional cap and trade system. (Natural Resources Defense Council)
• The head of the Sierra Club calls on a new Senate working group to reject the coal and utility industries’ attacks on the Clean Power Plan. (The Hill)
• Here are six ways to recruit and retain veterans to a clean energy company. (Greentech Media)

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