Amazon ‘Desert Wind’ Project: Benefiting Eastern NC and Beyond

Construction began this summer on the first utility-scale wind farm in North Carolina, and one of the first in the southeastern U.S., the Amazon Wind Farm US East, powered by Iberdrola Renewables. This exciting development in rural northeastern North Carolina will deliver significant local economic benefits over the life of the project, starting with a huge boost for local companies and workers during construction. It will soon be the largest taxpayer in each of the two counties where it’s located, and combined with landowner lease payments, will inject more than $1.1 million into the local economy each year.

Guest Post: Polluters are Making the Same Old “Sky is Falling” Claims about the Clean Power Plan

The ink wasn’t even dry on the Clean Power Plan before some power companies filed lawsuits to challenge these historic public health protections.

One of their key complaints? How much the Clean Power Plan is allegedly going to cost.

In their court filing, these companies claimed that they’ll potentially need to spend “billions of dollars” to comply.

This tactic is nothing new, and it’s something we often hear when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issues a new regulation that will provide cleaner, healthier air for our communities and families.

But it’s almost always wrong.

In defiance of the “sky is falling” predictions, American industry innovates and figures out ways to comply with new, healthier standards at a fraction of the costs initially projected.

Guest Post: Why We Support the ITC Extension and Why You Should Too

In this Guest Post, Yuri Horwitz challenges the solar industry: “A question for each of us is whether the future is crafted for us, or whether we craft that future.” Yuri Horwitz is the CEO of commercial and small utility-scale financier, Sol Systems. To date, the company has financed nearly 350 megawatts’ worth of solar. The [...]

Guest Post: Clean Power Plan Can Boost Energy Efficiency Investments in Affordable Housing

Low-income households are disproportionately burdened by exposure to toxins in the atmosphere and the built environment. Climate change compounds these vulnerabilities when unstable weather patterns increase exposure and/or the potency of toxic chemicals in our environment. Additionally, low-income households are often forced to make housing choices in which they rely on inadequate or lower quality housing. Poor ventilation can cause homes to be drafty in winter and allow in moisture in summer that leads to mold and illness. Poor construction and inefficient appliances and energy grid connections leave families unable to safely maintain comfortable temperatures, leaving them further vulnerable to illness or potentially deadly accidents.

Georgia Power, Alabama Power to begin addressing coal ash storage

This article is posted with permission of the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC). Click here to see their original post. SELC represents SACE in several coal ash related legal cases. Georgia Power and Alabama Power have announced plans to close their respective coal ash storage ponds, though both utilities remain tight-lipped on the specifics of [...]

Justicia Económica y el Plan de Energía Limpia: Más Empleos, Más Justicia

El Plan de Energía Limpia ha sido estructurado para crear miles de nuevos empleos en los sectores de energía limpia y eficiencia energética, ofreciendo incentivos para crear buenos empleos en las comunidades vulnerables. El Plan recomienda estándares robustos para asegurar que los nuevos puestos de trabajo creados conduzcan a carreras de calidad. El Plan de Energía Limpia e iniciativas de política pública relacionadas también contienen protecciones vitales para los trabajadores en el sector del carbón y para sus comunidades. La EPA y el Departamento de Energía (DOE, por sus siglas en inglés) han tomado medidas para ayudar a asegurar que los sindicatos, los trabajadores afectados y sus comunidades sean tratados como partes interesadas, cuyas opiniones sean escuchadas y reflejadas en los procesos estatales para crear planes de implementación (en adelante “planes estatales”). Lo que es más, el Plan de Energía Limpia aborda las preocupaciones de los sindicatos en cuanto a la confiabilidad de nuestro sistema eléctrico, el período para su cumplimiento, y crédito por reducción de emisiones originadas por procesos industriales, como la cogeneración eléctrica y térmica.

Nuevas carreras en los sectores de energía renovable y eficiencia energética

En general, el Plan de Energía Limpia anticipa un mayor crecimiento de la capacidad de generación proveniente de energía limpia que la propuesta de regulación – 28 por ciento en el reglamento final, en comparación con 22 por ciento bajo la propuesta. Además, aunque la eficiencia energética ya no es un “pilar” para el establecimiento de metas estatales de reducción de carbono, el Plan de Energía Limpia aún proporciona fuertes incentivos para que los estados y las regiones implementen programas de eficiencia energética como mecanismo de cumplimiento.

Labor and the Clean Power Plan: More Jobs, More Justice

The final Clean Power Plan is structured to create thousands more new jobs in clean energy and energy efficiency, with incentives to create good jobs in vulnerable communities. It recommends robust standards to ensure that the new jobs lead to quality careers. The Clean Power Plan and related initiatives also contain vital protections for coal workers and communities. The EPA and DOE have both acted to help ensure that unions, affected workers, and their communities will be treated as stakeholders whose views are heard and reflected in the state processes to create implementation plans. What’s more, the plan addresses concerns from affected unions about ensuring our power system is reliable, the timeline for compliance, and emissions reduction credits for manufacturing processes such as combined heat and power.

SC Mayor’s Perspective on Flood: One Time Event? Or Wake Up Call?

This guest post, by Billy Keyserling, Mayor of Beaufort, SC, originally appeared in his October 9 newsletter. SACE applauds Mayor Keyserling and the Beaufort/Port Royal Sea Level Rise Task Force for the important initial steps they are taking to plan for the reality of climate change impacts. It appears the stars were aligned to create [...]

Is Your State Betting Too Much on Natural Gas for Electricity? A New UCS Analysis Takes a Look

This is a guest post written by Union of Concerned Scientist’s staffer John Rogers. The original post can be found here. To read press releases specific to Alabama, Georgia and Florida, visit the SACE news room. Alongside photos of the local apple festival and headlines about the school budget, recently the front page of my small town’s weekly [...]

EPA Updates 30-Year-Old Water Quality Standards

Thomas Cmar is an attorney with Earthjustice’s Coal program, based in Chicago, IL. This article was reposted with Earthjustice’s permission. Read the original post here. Read SACE’s statement here. We don’t use phones, drive cars or fly airplanes that were built based on 1982 safety standards, so why should we allow power plants to dump [...]