Daily Digest

North Carolina ranks eight coal ash sites ‘high-risk’ for closure

COAL ASH: In a long-awaited step, North Carolina regulators rank eight ash ponds managed by Duke Energy as “high risk” for closure by 2019 and 25 “intermediate risk” ponds for closure by 2024. (Fayetteville Observer)

ALSO:
• North Carolina regulators want to reassess their ash pond rankings in 18 months. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• Here is what North Carolina’s coal ash rankings mean. (Carolina Public Press)
• North Carolina lawmakers may still change the coal ash closure rules. (Winston Salem-Journal)

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NORTH CAROLINA: Solar advocates attack a Senate bill designed to impose new financial hurdles and safety precautions on wind and solar systems. (Raleigh News & Observer)

NUCLEAR:
A Louisiana Congressman challenges the president of Southern Company’s nuclear unit on why costly new reactors are a better investment than the latest natural gas generators. (E&E Daily)
• Hearings about Georgia Power’s long-term generation needs resume with a sharper focus on the option for more nuclear reactors. (WABE Public Radio)

UTILITIES: Shareholders of Florida Power & Light’s parent company want it to disclose campaign contributions and report on the costs of mitigating sea-level rise. (Miami Herald)

SOLAR:
• The Florida Solar Energy Center is tapped to train instructors for the Department of Energy’s new “Solar Ready Vets” initiative. (Space Coast Daily)
• The most productive day so far this year for a pilot solar system in Mississippi that tracks the sun generated enough electricity to power 58 homes. (Jackson Free Press)

WIND:
Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander urges his constituents to oppose a large wind farm proposed in Cumberland County. (The Chattanoogan)
• Several factors point to a significant increase in wind energy commitments in parts of the Southern U.S.  (Southern Alliance for Clean Energy)
• Advocates look forward to next steps expected this summer by federal regulators toward leasing tracts off the South Carolina coast. (ReNews)

COAL:
• Federal regulators consider limiting the practice of allowing coal companies to “self-bond” for future cleanup costs. (Reuters)
West Virginia is among the states with a lot to lose if coal companies cannot live up to their reclamation obligations. (Associated Press)
• A new study by Public Citizen spotlights pay increases coal executives awarded themselves as their companies were headed for bankruptcy. (Climate Progress)
• Parties interested in helping communities redevelop their economies are urged to think boldly in their bids for federal grants. (Metro News of West Virginia)

PIPELINES: A new study commissioned by eight communities in Virginia and West Virginia estimates significant unaccounted-for costs along the route proposed for the Mountain Valley Pipeline. (Metro News of West Virginia)

NATURAL GAS: The U.S. Coast Guard prepares for increased traffic off Louisiana’s coast of tankers shipping liquefied natural gas to overseas markets. (LNG World Shipping)

CLIMATE: Fort Lauderdale is becoming an edifice of risk as rising sea levels lay siege to its 165 miles of canals. (InsideClimate News)

OIL & GAS: Those researching the impact of Shell’s recent oil leak into the Gulf include scientists from universities in Georgia, Florida and Mississippi. (UGA Today)

TRANSMISSION: Local codes and rights-of-way in central Virginia complicate citizens’ efforts to influence changes to a high-voltage power line sought by Dominion Virginia Power. (Orange County Review)

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GRID: A national effort led by a University of Central Florida professor receives a federal grant to modernize and sustain the nation’s power grid. (Orlando Business Journal)

COMMENTARY:
• It’s past time for North Carolina to stop stalling on Duke Energy’s coal-ash cleanups. (Southern Environmental Law Center)
• Late is better than never for West Virginia Gov. Tomblin to begin assessing how coal mining sites can be re-purposed. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• With one hand North Carolina welcomes veterans to work on solar but with the other hand it’s chasing those solar jobs away. (Fayetteville Observer)

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