Daily Digest

West Virginia governor’s coal facility cited after worker’s death

COAL: One of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s coal plants has been cited for six safety violations during the investigation of a worker’s death. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

ALSO:
• A federal court granted the Trump administration’s request to delay a decision on rules that limit water pollution from coal plants. (Associated Press)
• An analysis finds upcoming power plant retirements will significantly lower the demand for coal by the end of 2018. (CleanTechnica)
• PBS talks with coal miners in West Virginia as they are in jeopardy of losing their health care at the end of this week. (PBS)

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UTILITIES:
• Investors question bonuses for Southern Co.’s top executives despite setbacks and cost overruns at the Kemper and Vogtle plants. (Dow Jones Newswire)
• Alabama Power is replacing Birmingham’s streetlights with LEDs, but the city may end up with a higher electricity bill than it pays now. (WBHM)

FRACKING: A new Duke University study finds fracking did not contaminate groundwater in West Virginia, but wastewater spills did impact water quality in streams. (NPR)

OIL:
• A federal judge approves expanded oil exploration in Florida’s Big Cypress National Preserve, dismissing environmentalists’ concerns that habitat damage had not been assessed. (Miami Herald)
• Democratic and Republican lawmakers from Florida have voiced concerns as President Donald Trump eyes more drilling off the state’s coast. (Tampa Bay Times blog)
• A Florida senator wants to amend a bill to allow BP oil spill funds to be spent on economic incentives for companies that provide high-paying jobs. (SaintPetersBlog)

SOLAR:
• Charlottesville is the first Virginia city to be recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy for its efforts to make solar energy less expensive. (The Daily Progress)
• A Tampa credit union has installed a 408 kW solar panel array. (Tampa Bay Business Journal)
• Blue Raven Solar is expanding to new residential markets in five states, including North and South Carolina. (PV Tech)

TRANSPORTATION: A bill that will increase the tax on gasoline in Tennessee now goes to Gov. Bill Haslam for approval. (WBIR)

NUCLEAR: A Georgia company will pay $4.6 million for knowingly not conducting quality assurance procedures and supplying defective components to a nuclear waste treatment facility in South Carolina. (TN News Service)

COMMENTARY:
• An industry report shows significant wind industry growth and the potential for jobs in the Southeast. (Southern Alliance for Clean Energy)
• A report examines why President Donald Trump’s actions won’t restore coal country, but threaten current federal assistance there. (Center for American Progress)
• Appalachia has been promised economic development and hundreds of jobs before, but with a proposed plan to convert an old coal mine to a solar farm, there’s a chance that promise will be fulfilled. (Daily Independent)
• The Westinghouse bankruptcy represents the failures of electricity monopolies because “any technology that takes a decade to build and carries huge capital demands creates an enormous investment risk.” (R Street)

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