Daily Digest

Mississippi coal gasification project faces steep learning curve

COAL:
• The Kemper Project coal gasification plant set for Mississippi faces a steep uphill learning curve based on challenges at a similar plant in Polk County, Florida.  (Watchdog.org)
• Coal’s decline is rippling through southwest Virginia. (The Roanoke Times)

CLIMATE:
• Scientists studying the Gulf of Mexico are learning how climate change is triggering widespread ecosystem changes and how they affect seafood. (Phys.org)
• Here is how climate change is affecting the maple syrup industry in West Virginia. (West Virginia Public Broadcasting.)
• Environmental group petitions Florida’s Inspector General to probe Gov. Rick Scott’s alleged banning the use of “global warming” and “climate change.” (The Tampa Tribune)

SOLAR:
• Legislation in Georgia permitting third-party solar financing continues inching toward passage. (Athens Banner-Herald)
Five large solar systems are planned in or near Taylor County, Georgia (The Telegraph, Macon)
• Municipal utilities in North Carolina join Duke Energy in opposing legislation that would permit renewable energy companies to sell power directly to their customers. (Charlotte Business Journal)
Growth of solar energy projects in North Carolina signals a bright future for developers there. (Fayette Observer)

OIL & GAS:
• Virginia Congressman hits on “bull in the china shop” behavior of companies that want to build natural gas pipelines through the state. (The Roanoke Times)
• Virginia state officials and CSX offer advice on managing the growing risk of train accidents involving crude oil. (Daily Press, Virginia Peninsula)
Strike ends sending 800 Louisiana workers back to work today at Norco and Shell refineries in St. Charles Parish. (St. Charles Herald-Guide)
• Louisiana Oil & Gas Association blasts new federal fracking rules. (The Times-Picayune, New Orleans)
• A trucking accident prompts fracking driller M&M Environmental Group to lay off almost its entire 200+ person workforce. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)
• A plan for an interstate pipeline flowing through Kentucky to carry natural gas liquids from fracking operations is drawing the ire of residents in a growing number of Kentucky counties. (Lexington Herald Leader)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Tesla could operate up to five stores in Georgia and sell an unlimited number of its pricey electric vehicles under a compromise reached with the state’s auto dealers. (Atlanta Business Chronicle)

OFFSHORE DRILLING: Opposition to oil drilling off the Carolina coasts continues to grow. Latest tally against: seven coastal communities in South Carolina and 12 in North Carolina. (Associated Press)

SUSTAINABILITY: Prince Charles lauds Louisville sustainability initiatives during visit there but urges officials to take environmental issues more seriously. (WFPL Louisville Public Radio)

UTILITIES: The Obama Administration has nominated Nashville venture capitalist Eric Martin Satz to serve for the next three years on the board of the Tennessee Valley Authority. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)

COMMENTARY:
• A writer in Tampa dissects the push for a solar energy ballot initiative asserting any sensible reading of the “policy of the state” language would conclude that they would make the environment for subsidies more friendly. (The American Spectator)
• Two leading Christians in Virginia urge Gov. Terry McAuliffe to follow through on the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan(The Virginian-Pilot)
• U.S. Rep. Gerald E. Connolly of Virginia’s 11th District argues against drilling for oil and natural gas off Virginia’s coast. (The Washington Post)
• Why are Florida regulators denying a bid to drop a utility charge earmarked for a now-cancelled nuclear power plant? (Power Engineering)
• Two biologists in Florida argue for institutions to divest from fossil fuel interests. (Tallahassee Democrat)
• The Kingsport, TN school board draws praise for hiring experts to help its schools  save energy. (Times News, Kingsport)

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