Daily Digest

Florida utilities’ solar amendment poised for November ballot

SOLAR: A proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution backed by utilities that effectively blocks rooftop solar appears to have enough signatures to get on the November ballot. (Utility Dive)

NORTH CAROLINA:
• More North Carolinians are challenging Gov. Pat McCrory’s priorities as complaints about coal ash disposal and his meeting with Duke Energy executives grow louder. (North Carolina Policy Watch)
• Neither Duke Energy nor North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory will comment on their discussions at a private dinner last summer. (Charlotte Business Journal)

WIND: Now that utilities have declined it, a wind system off South Carolina’s coast could be dead in the water without significant private interest. (Myrtle Beach Online)

DIVESTMENT: The St. Petersburg, Florida, city council advances a measure to divest its funds from fossil fuels. (Saint Peters Blog)

BIOENERGY:
• The St. Petersburg, Florida, city council approves $67 million of upgrades to its bioenergy programs. (Saint Peters Blog)
• The would-be operator of a digester plant planned for West Louisville, Kentucky acknowledges the need to build trust with neighbors before proceeding. (Louisville Business First)

HYDROPOWER: A new study finds no significant environmental impacts from work needed to stop seepage at the Boone Dam in Tennessee. (Kingsport TimesNews)

SUSTAINABILITY: The TVA recognizes three communities in Tennessee and one in Alabama for promoting environmental sustainability as part of their economic development. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)

EFFICIENCY: Jacksonville, Florida remains one of the least energy-efficient cities in the U.S., but it’s making progress. (WJCT Public Broadcasting)

COAL ASH:
• Heavy rains New Year’s Eve weekend required an emergency response to prevent a Georgia coal ash pond from spilling over. (Southern Alliance for Clean Energy)
• Neighbors of Duke Energy’s storage sites in North Carolina demand state regulators heed their criticism about the state’s hazard rankings. (Charlotte Observer)

COAL:
• More delays loom for the Kemper coal gasification plant in Mississippi as intervenors challenge a rate increase to pay for it. (Mississippi Watchdog)
• Coal companies ask a court  to block implementation of miners’ protections against respirable coal dust. (SNL)
• Virginia is helping coal miners transition to minerals industry jobs. (Dothan Eagle)

NUCLEAR:
• Hearings are set on the impact of salinity levels near Florida Power & Light’s Turkey Point plant. (Palm Beach Post)
• A startup collaborating with the Oak Ridge National Lab in Tennessee and the University of Tennessee on small modular reactors wins $8 million in funding. (Greentech Media)

FRACKING: A panel advising the EPA criticizes a draft report for underestimating fracking’s potential impact on drinking water supplies. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

OIL & GAS:
• The company responsible for a continuing oil leak in the Gulf sues the federal government to recover $400 million. (Associated Press)
• The West Virginia legislature plans to revisit “forced pooling” of natural gas production. (West Virginia Public Radio)

PIPELINES: North Florida’s geology poses unique risks to the Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline planned there. (Panama City News Herald)

COMMENTARY:
• North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory’s private dinner with Duke Energy executives reinforces the notion that energy policy is not the public’s business. (Charlotte Observer)
Act, don’t just strategize, about mitigating climate change in southern Florida. (Palm Beach Post)
• As an ALEC member, what are Dominion Virginia Power’s real motives in helping develop the state’s Clean Power Plan? (The Virginian-Pilot)

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