Daily Digest

Gulf states start focusing on their shares of the $18.7 billion BP oil spill settlement

BP OIL SPILL SETTLEMENT:
• BP agrees to settle claims over the 2010 Gulf oil spill for $18.7 billion; total cost is approaching $54 billion. (The Wall Street Journal)
• Here is how the $18.7 billion of settlement funds will be divided among Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. (Associated Press)
• Most of Louisiana’s $6.8 billion share will help recover economic damages and improve natural resources. (The Advertiser)
• Attorney General Pam Bondi calls Florida’s $3.2 billion share “a remarkable achievement.” (SaintPetersBlog)
• About half of Alabama’s $2.3 billion share of the BP settlement has been earmarked for environmental restoration projects. (The Anniston Star)
Local governments in Florida are angling to secure portions of settlement funds. (Sarasota Herald-Tribune)
• How the oil spill settlement could help the Gulf of Mexico. (Nature)
• Some impacts of the BP oil spill on the Gulf’s ecosystem may not be known for years. (National Public Radio)

CLIMATE: Tennessee clean energy groups huddle with U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI, on how to more effectively mitigate climate change. (Southern Alliance for Clean Energy blog)

SOLAR:
• Could third-party ownership be taking root in the Southeast U.S.? (Rocky Mountain Institute Outlet blog)
• Southern Co. is using its Georgia Power name in the marketing of its unregulated solar energy business. (WABE Public Radio, Atlanta)
• Georgia homeowners are learning that cost isn’t the only factor in deciding on whether a rooftop solar system makes economic sense. (Rome News Tribune)
• Despite little interest from lawmakers in climate initiatives, Virginians are taking action into their own hands with solar bulk purchasing co-ops and other programs. (Augusta Free Press)

UTILITIES: Appalachian Power in Virginia outlines plans to generate more power from renewables while reducing coal to less than half of its portfolio. (The Roanoke Times)

POWER GENERATION: North Carolina and the U.S. as a whole are now generating more electricity from natural gas than coal. (Charlotte Business Journal)

COAL ASH:
• A lawsuit alleges workers suffering health woes from cleaning up the TVA’s 2008 Kingston coal ash spill have standing to sue it despite the utility’s customary federal immunity. (Knoxville News Sentinel)
• Speculation runs high about health impacts of Duke Energy’s 32 coal ash dumps in rural North Carolina. (Fayetteville Observer)

COAL: An amendment to a spending bill in Congress would block a new new rule set to close a loophole on how royalties are collected from coal mined on federal lands. (ClimateProgress)

NUCLEAR: The Clean Power Plan heightens the debate in Virginia over the need for a fifth reactor by Dominion Virginia Power. (Charlottesville Daily Progress)

VIRGINIA:
New laws raise the cap on solar projects qualifying for bill credits and launch a state solar energy development authority. (The Roanoke Star)
• With Virginia already on track to achieve most of the state’s Clean Power Plan goal, clean energy advocates call on utilities close the remaining gap with renewable energy and efficiency programs. (August Free Press)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• A start-up seeks to improve mobility in Fayetteville, Arkansas by renting low-speed electric vehicles. (Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)
• Virginia is boosting aid to local governments to convert their vehicles to other fuels, led by natural gas and electricity. (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)

EFFICIENCY:
• Oak Ridge National Lab in Tennessee says a new heating and cooling system for buildings can cut peak demand costs in half. (WBIR Knoxville)
• Energy upgrades to the home of a 95-year-old Huntsville resident by an Alabama non-profit vastly improve his health. (The Huntsville Times)

COMMENTARY:
• Is a clean energy economy just a pipe dream in Virginia? (NRDC Switchboard blog)
Nuclear power should play a larger role in the Clean Power Plan. (The Virginian-Pilot)
• Exceptional cooperation led to the BP oil spill settlement. (Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal)

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