Daily Digest

Chinese company set to build large solar plant in Mississippi

SOLAR:
• Jackson, Mississippi officials said China-based Seraphim Solar plans to build a $50 million solar module manufacturing plant there by year’s end. (Jackson Free Press)
• A new report ranks Orlando, Tampa, Raleigh and Nashville in the top 25 U.S. cities for solar installations per capita. (Triangle Business Journal)
Florida Power & Light has applied to build a large solar system next to its natural gas-burning power plant in Manatee County. (Herald Tribune)
• How Obama’s latest solar initiative could benefit North Carolina. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• A National Community Solar Partnership is a centerpiece of President Obama’s latest solar initiative. (Southern Environmental Law Center blog)

EFFICIENCY: Orlando residents now have access to low-interest loans to improve their homes’ energy efficiency. (Orlando Weekly)

OFFSHORE DRILLING: The Republican-led U.S. House has voted down a bill to expand oil and gas drilling to areas off Florida’s coasts at least until 2022. (New Orleans Times-Picayune).

PIPELINES:
• Lacking sufficient supporting data, the claimed economic benefits of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline are overstated, a new study asserts. (Southern Environmental Law Center blog)
The developer of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline has proposed changes to its route in southern Virginia but not yet in the western part of the state, where public opposition is fiercest. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

REVENUE SHARING: The House blocked President Obama’s budget proposal to divert up to $500 million a year in offshore revenue sharing for Gulf states. (New Orleans Times-Picayune)

GRID SECURITY: Duke Energy’s parent company is weighing whether to buy an equity stake in a venture to supply transformers and security services to the power grid. (Charlotte Business Journal)

COAL:
• Left on their own to deal with coal’s decline, how best to help West Virginians? (Reuters)
• Alpha Natural Resources told 292 workers in Virginia and Kentucky they are losing their jobs. (West Virginia Public Broadcasting)
U.S. coal production is projected to fall to its lowest level since 1987. (Platts)
Walter Energy, a coal mining company based in Alabama, is told it will be de-listed from the New York Stock Exchange. (Tuscaloosa News)
• A reorganization of Walter Energy could result in pay cuts, reduced pension contributions and employees owning part of the company. (Birmingham Business Journal)

NUCLEAR: The TVA is set to fund a new emergency management center for its Browns Ferry nuclear power plant in Alabama. (The News Courier)

POWER INFRASTRUCTURE: A decline in SPX Corp’s stock price may have set up its power service unit as an acquisition target once the Charlotte-based company splits in two. (Charlotte Business Journal)

CLIMATE:
• A poll by Florida Atlantic University finds more than 73 percent of U.S. Hispanics consider global warming to be a somewhat serious or very serious problem. (Sun Sentinel)
• How climate change is creeping into more cultural realms in America. (Nashville Public Radio)

BP OIL SPILL SETTLEMENT:
Alabama will get $405 million less than the $2.3 billion the governor’s office previously reported from the BP oil spill settlement, said U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne of Alabama. (Alabama Media Group)
Biloxi, Mississippi is accepting $4.9 million from BP as part of a group settlement of local government claims for economic losses. (The Meridian Star)
Birmingham will receive more than $1 million from BP for economic losses from the Gulf oil spill. (Alabama Media Group)
• $13.2 billion of the $18.7 billion total settlement to be paid by BP could qualify as a tax deduction. (New Orleans Times-Picayune)

U.S. GASOLINE TAX:
• A South Carolina Republican congressman has introduced legislation to increase the federal gasoline tax by 10 cents-per-gallon to be offset by an income tax credit. (The Hill)
• Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ruled out an increase in the federal gas tax which would leave Congress with no plan to pay for highway construction crews after July 31. (Politico)

COMMENTARY: If more voters demand it, politicians will respond more quickly to climate change.  (The Island Packet, South Carolina)

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