Daily Digest

North Carolina added 3,100 clean energy jobs in 2015

CLEAN ENERGY JOBS: A trade group’s census shows North Carolina added about 3,100 clean energy jobs in 2015, with total employment eclipsing 26,000. (Charlotte Observer)

WIND: Developers of an transmission project say Tallahassee, Florida has agreed to buy up to 50 megawatts of wind power generated in Oklahoma. (Penn Energy)

SOLAR:
• Despite incentive cuts by the TVA, demand for solar systems in Tennessee remains strong. (Nashville Public Radio)
• Florida, Mississippi and South Carolina are among key state policy battlegrounds in 2016. (Utility Dive)

POWER DEMAND: The Supreme Court upholds a program by the power grid operator serving West Virginia, most of Virginia and a part of North Carolina that pays large electric customers to save energy during times of peak demand. (The New York Times)

FRACKING: The Florida House today is to consider a bill that could lead to hydraulic fracturing in the Sunshine State. (The Florida Times-Union)

COAL:
• A federal appeals court rejects an industry challenge aimed a limiting miners’ exposure to coal dust which causes deadly black lung disease. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• Bankrupt Alpha Natural Resources says it’s laying off more than 800 miners and support staff at eight mines and processing plants in southern West Virginia. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
• Two bills before the Kentucky House would change the way the state taxes coal left in the ground. (WKYU Public Radio)
Alabama-based Walter Energy postpones its bankruptcy filing for a fifth time. (Platts)
A Virginia lawmaker introduces a bill to extend employment tax credits for burning in-state coal. (Bluefield Daily Telegraph)
• The National Labor Relations Board has sided with West Virginia miners in a dispute over whether they can use profanity to express their opposition to Murray Energy’s mining practices. (International Business Times)

RENEWABLES: Several bills in the Virginia’s short legislative session take aim at removing barriers to wind and solar. (Power for the People VA blog)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: The operators of power grids serving several Southeast states warn of “reliability issues” during the plan’s implementation. (Platts)

COAL ASH:
• Georgia Power stops pumping wastewater into a lake from a lagoon filled with coal ash. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
South Carolina utility Santee Cooper reports that it has removed one-third of the coal ash from some of its pits ahead of schedule. (Southern Environmental Law Center)
• A south Georgia community rises up against plans by an out-of-state company to store coal ash there. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
• A Duke Energy advisory board says most coal-ash ponds should be left where they are. (Triangle Business Journal)
• As public information sessions continue, comments on the coal ash disposal plans by the TVA must be postmarked by February 24, 2016. (Lexington Herald-Leader)
• An environmental group moves toward legal action over development of a coal ash disposal landfill in South Carolina. (The Independent Mail)
•  Legislation introduced by West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin would create an enforceable program for states to oversee the disposal of coal ash. (Associated Press)

CLIMATE: Some wealthy homeowners in south Florida are spending a lot of money trying to protect their residences from rising sea levels. (Broward-Palm Beach New Times)

COMMENTARY:
• The political party that can address climate change for millennials in a productive manner will win their votes. (The Virginian-Pilot)
• The Supreme Court’s demand response ruling on Monday should awaken key market forces to better manage electricity consumption. (NRDC Switchboard)
• An investment magazine lauds efforts led by Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good to balance its environmental and power generation challenges. (Institutional Investor)
• Regulations governing the export of liquefied natural gas should be streamlined. (The Hill)

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