Alabama PSC’s Gift List: Power Company “Nice,” Alabamians “Naughty”?

Every year on the second Tuesday in December, the Alabama Public Service Commission (PSC) holds a public meeting about Alabama Power’s rate structure and the cost impacts of keeping coal-fired power plants burning. If this meeting represented the PSC’s holiday gifts, it’s easy to see who the favorite child is… and it isn’t the bill-paying [...]

UCS “Dwindling Role for Coal” Report: Wind and Solar Could Help Replace Coal in the Southeast

A recording of our October 24, 2017 webinar with UCS report authors is posted here. The past decade or so has seen a dramatic shift away from coal for producing electricity in the United States. According to a new analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), that trend is set to continue. The analysis [...]

SPEAK UP: Duke Energy Rate Adjustment Hearings in NC!

Duke Energy Progress, which provides power to over a million households and 200,000 businesses in North Carolina, is proposing a major rate hike

How Will Hurricane Irma Impact Coal Ash in her Path?

Last year, Hurricane Matthew spilled coal waste into the Neuse River and burst the dirt embankment of a cooling pond at the H.F. Lee power plant in Goldsboro, NC. As record-breaking Hurricane Irma barrels toward Florida and likely up toward Atlanta, at least 33 coal-fired power plants lie in her potential path, highlighting the dangers [...]

Interview: A Groundbreaking Plan to “Drawdown” Greenhouse Gas

What will it take to get to a point where the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere starts getting smaller? That’s the question behind a new book from Paul Hawken and Project Drawdown. The answers it provides may be surprising. Beyond renewable energy and green transportation, top climate solutions included expanding both sustainable agriculture [...]

Pruitt EPA Should Deny New Utility Move to Weaken Federal Coal Ash Rule

Like last month’s stay on the water discharge rule, a potential stay on the Coal Ash Rule extends unconscionable risk for the people who live near coal ash pits, which can rupture or leak toxics into drinking water, while pandering to corporate utilities that have gotten away with dangerous waste handling for decades.

Pruitt EPA’s Water Pollution Delay Extends Uncertainty for Southeast Coal Plants

Since 1982, little has changed about the toxic pollution coal-fired power plants are allowed to dump in water, although change was on its way. Unfortunately, if EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has his way, our waterways and our health will remain threatened by our nation’s leading source of toxic water pollution – coal fired power plants. We will have to keep on waiting for modern, updated protections and coal plant operators face continued uncertainty over their compliance obligations – uncertainty that may actually accelerate coal’s decline. In early May, Environmental groups challenged the legality Administrator Pruitt’s stay.

In the Southeast, many power plants’ operators were already preparing to meet new 2015 standards, which would go into effect in 2018, updating pollution control technology at their plants and working with state agencies to update state water discharge permits. The 2015 Effluent Limitation Guidelines (ELGs), which represents the first update to these regulations since 1982, nearly eliminates dumping of ash-contaminated wastewater, and for the first time, limits the discharge of toxic heavy metals that come from removing toxics from the air pollution stream and trapping them in sludge as part of the wastewater stream.

What’s Wrong With This Picture? TVA’s So-Called Coal Ash “Solution”

The Tennessee Valley Authority is planning to “clean up” 13.4 million tons of coal ash by capping it in place. Our new animation shows why cap in place is not a solution for unlined ash pits: it doesn’t keep ash separated from groundwater. Click the image on the left to watch the 30-second clip, and then [...]

First Government-Owned Plant “Off the Island:” Florida’s Coal Plant Reality Show Heats Up

Who will be voted off the island next? Florida’s dwindling cast of coal plant survivors just lost two stalwart characters, government-owned St. Johns River Power Park Units 1 and 2. While this definitely refutes the new administration’s hopes for a coal revival, we are optimistic that JEA is the first of several Florida government agencies to finally give up on wasteful coal plants.

Black History Month Energy Leaders Blog Series: Nathaniel Smith Boosts “Energy Equity” in the American South

Nathaniel Smith is founder and Chief Equity Officer (CEqO)of Atlanta-based Partnership for Southern Equity (PSE). SACE worked with PSE to initiate the Just Energy Circle in 2012 and remains an active partner, most recently helping put on the first annual Just Energy Summit. I sat down with Mr. Smith to learn more about the work he dubbed “energy equity” early on.