2015 Southeast Coal Roundup – Duke Energy

As we move into 2016, we continue our look back at where our Southeastern utilities are in their movement away from coal-fired power. This blog will focus on Duke Energy’s coal-plant operations in the Carolinas and Florida. Although Duke Energy operates coal-fired power plants outside of the Southeast, for the purposes of this blog, we will focus on those plants that are located in our region. Duke Energy owns coal plants in North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. Duke was one of the earliest utilities in our region to begin reducing its reliance on coal-fired power, beginning with the retirements in 2011 of Units 1-4 (210 MW) at its Cliffside Steam Station, all three units at its Weatherspoon plant (171 MW) and the last two coal units at its Cape Fear plant (316 MW).

2015 Southeast Coal Roundup – Southern Company

In the 2015 Southeast Coal Roundup blog series, we are happy to report that the transition away from coal in the Southeast continues – cleaning up our air, water and atmosphere and leaving room for development of more renewable energy generation resources and more robust implementation of energy efficiency measures. Retiring and removing these old, dirty coal units from service will help to improve Southerners’ way of life by improving the overall public health and saving ratepayers from bearing the burden of expensive coal plant retrofit investments. Our first blog in the series covered the Tennessee Valley Authority’s movement away from coal. Now gather around the campfire to learn about Southern Company’s coal fleet.

2015 Southeast Coal Roundup – Tennessee Valley Authority

As 2015 draws to a close, we wanted to update you on where our major Southeastern utilities are in terms of decreasing their reliance on dirty, coal-fired power. This blog series is following up on a previous series in 2013. (You can view our previous Southeast Coal Roundup blogs here – Tennessee Valley Authority, Southern [...]

EPA Hosts Clean Power Plan Public Hearings in Atlanta

The Clean Power Plan sets emission reduction goals that each state must meet by 2030, based on that state’s historic generation and unique energy portfolio. States are given a wide range of compliance options and ample time to craft state specific compliance plans that are flexible, economically viable and protect grid reliability.

EPA will host two days of public hearings in Atlanta, as well as a few other cities across the country, to take public input on a few key parts of the Clean Power Plan – the Proposed Federal Rule and Model Training Rules and the Clean Energy Incentive Program. The official public comment period for these pieces ends on January 21, 2016, but EPA is hosting public hearings early for those who want to provide input before the deadline.

Environmental Justice Community Airs Concerns in Memphis

Last weekend, the 2015 Memphis Environmental Justice Conference – Envisioning a Cleaner, Healthier Environment – brought people together, both local and national, to hear speakers talk on issues ranging from transportation issues, labor and the environment and gender and environmental security. A common theme of the conference presentations was recognition that access to clean air, clean water and even clean energy should not be restricted based on attributes like one’s race, gender, religion or economic status.

Extra Extra! Clean Power Plan Finally Published!

Almost 2 and a half months after the Clean Power Plan was released, it has finally become official. Today, the Clean Power Plan was published in the Federal Register, an important procedural step that not only makes the rule official but also marks the start of a period when the rule becomes subject to Congressional review under the Congressional Review Act. Additionally, the publication of the rule marks the beginning of what will likely be a slew of legal challenges from industry and historically coal-dependent states.

The Home of the Blues Gets a Little Greener

Memphis, TN, known as the Home of the Blues, got a little greener last week when two important clean energy projects were recognized during a one-day press event. Southern Alliance for Clean Energy was on site at both events, to celebrate these important milestones as the city of Memphis moves towards a more sustainable future.

The groundbreaking of the “new” Universal Life Insurance Building celebrated that project’s award of $2 million in Qualified Energy Conservation (QEC) bonds from the Green Communities Program, managed by the Memphis-Shelby County Office of Sustainability and the Housing and Community Development department. Additionally, the Memphis-Shelby County Office of Sustainability received an $80,000 Clean Energy Grant from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) to install solar panels and an educational display at the Lichterman Nature Center. SACE couldn’t be happier to highlight these two big developments in Memphis’ path to a cleaner, greener economy.

Polling Shows Hispanic Voters Support Climate Action

Polling has consistently shown that Latino and Hispanic voters support action to combat climate change. Polling conducted by Latino Decisions, in partnership with Earthjustice and GreenLatinos, found that Latinos, more than other Americans, see climate change as a consequence of human activity – with almost two-thirds accepting anthropogenic explanations of climate change.

That same polling also showed that many Latinos are willing to put their money where their mouth is, accepting anywhere from a $5 – $10 increase in monthly utility bulls to help hasten the transition to clean, renewable energy sources. Most notably, Latino Decisions’ polling found that the majority of those polled do not accept the argument that environmental improvements come at the cost of a decreasing job market – 59% believe renewable energy and environmental reform is good for economic opportunity and job growth.

A Clean, Green Job-Creating Machine

Information in this blog was taken from an in-person interview with Dana Dorsey of the Memphis Bioworks Foundation as well as information included in an article on her work in High Ground News.  Dana Dorsey has been busy. She just finished celebrating the graduation of the first class of the Memphis Clean and Green Job [...]

Do You Breathe Air? Why You Should Care About New Ozone Standards

Do you breathe air? If you answered yes, then you should definitely care about the soon-to-be-released updated ozone regulations. If you answered no, then I’m glad to learn there really is life after death! All joking aside, the Environmental Protection Agency is under a court order to release updated ozone regulations October 1st that will further strengthen these important public health safeguards.