EPA Moves Forward As Harvard Recognizes Billions of “Hidden” Clean Power Plan Benefits

Despite the setback delivered by the Supreme Court’s stay, action around the Clean Power Plan has not disappeared. Instead, the Environmental Protection Agency’s historic regulation is on the verge of another public input period and is also the focus of a recent Harvard study.

What’s more, EPA has a new proposal out and an upcoming public comment period related to the voluntary early-action piece of the Clean Power Plan, known as the Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP). After hearing from stakeholders during a previous public comment period that ended in mid-December 2015, EPA has made some significant changes to the proposed CEIP. Most importantly, EPA has expanded the range of projects eligible for CEIP participation to include solar projects implemented to serve low-income communities.

As Utilities Embrace Clean Energy, Southeast Needs Smart Policies to Promote Local Renewables Growth

Even utilities in our notoriously coal-dependent Southeast are getting in on the action. Duke Energy, one of the two biggest utilities in our region, in late April announced plans to increase its renewable energy capacity to 8,000 megawatts by 2020, up by one-third over previous targets. “We’re finding that it’s competitive” on a cost basis, Duke Energy company spokesman Randy Wheeless has said of renewables. “It makes good business sense.” The Atlanta-based Southern Company, parent company of Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, and Mississippi Power, intends to exceed its previously announced renewables totals for 2017 and 2018 and just bought a North Carolina company, PowerSecure, that focuses on distributed generation—smaller-scale local power often provided by renewable sources—along with energy efficiency. NextEra Energy, based in Juno, Florida and the parent of that state’s largest utility, Florida Power & Light (FPL), is a national leader in wind power development. “We continue to believe that the fundamentals for the North American renewables business have never been stronger,” NextEra Executive Vice President of Finance and CFO John Ketchum said on an April 28th earnings call.

FPL Rate Hearings Start This Week, Run From June 2-29

Make your voice heard at upcoming rate increase public hearings for FPL — FPL states in its request to the PSC that its shareholders deserve to be rewarded extra for providing superior customer value and wants to increase its shareholder profit from 10.5% to 11.5%. Since this is a “midpoint” profit target, shareholders could end up earning up to 12.5% profit (11.5% plus or minus 1%). By the way, FPL had a net income (profit) last year of $1.65 billion. While the Company has a right to make money, it also has an obligation to be a good partner with its customers. Check out the dates below for the scheduled public hearing in your community.

Sen. Alexander: Enough With the Hot Air, Stop Bashing Wind Power

Yet again, Tennessee senior senator, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R), has channelled his inner Don Quixote and is tilting at windmills – well, wind turbines to be exact. Just this week he took to the senate floor in Washington, D.C. to bash wind energy using his same old outdated arguments. Sen. Alexander has now set his sites on a proposed wind farm in Cumberland County, TN.

In his latest anti-wind campaign, Sen. Alexander used a photo of a poorly planned Palm Springs, CA wind project to bolster his claim that the proposed Crab Orchard Wind Project, pursued by Apex Clean Energy, would ruin the scenic views and environment in Cumberland County. But where is Sen. Alexander’s outrage with actual projects in Tennessee that are currently ruining communities scenic views and threatening the surrounding environment???

FPL Rate Hike Public Hearings – Don’t Miss ‘Em

Hey FPL customers – You’ll have a rare opportunity in June to have your voices heard – don’t miss it! The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) – the agency charged with regulating the state’s biggest power companies, including Florida Power & Light (FPL) – will be in your community to get your take on whether FPL [...]

Eyes on the Prize: EPA Moves Forward on Clean Energy Despite Paused Clean Power Plan

As April came to an end, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sent a strong signal that it wasn’t going to let the current political and legal battle keep it from moving some of the voluntary parts of the Clean Power Plan forward.

EPA sent a proposal related to the voluntary early-action incentive program, known as the Clean Energy Incentive Program, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review – the next step in the policy-making process. EPA recognizes that technological innovation in the clean energy sector is driving development of clean energy resources and if EPA wants to keep pace with the growing science, it must continuing moving forward. Utilities and regulators should take a cue from EPA and continue to work together to reduce the overall carbon footprint of the Southeast’s electricity sector – or risk being left behind.

Shady Solar States

Center for Biological Diversity recently released a report outlining 10 sunny states that are working so hard to keep distributed (rooftop) solar from expanding. The title of the report is: Throwing Shade. Disappointingly, although not that surprising, the Southeast region is pretty well represented in this dishonorable list.

Amendment 4 on August’s Ballot Seeks to Lower Solar Energy Costs in Sunshine State

Want to know the best-kept secret in Florida about one of the biggest barriers holding back meaningful solar development? It’s not the lack of sunshine – Florida has best solar resource east of the Mississippi. So, what is it you ask? Taxes – really burdensome taxes whose impact drives up the cost of solar power. [...]

Just Energy Memphis Coalition Works to Ease Energy Burden

This Earth Day, we take a moment to recognize that clean energy solutions can not only help save our planet from the devastation of extreme climate change, but also help save families from suffering due to high energy costs. Just this week, Memphis, TN was named one of the top 10 cities with the highest energy burden in the country in a new report, with Memphians spending an average of just over 6% of their income on energy bills. This percentage more than doubles for low-income families in Memphis, with those families paying over 13% of their income on utility bills – the highest in the country! Families with high energy burdens suffer significant negative health impacts and economic hardship. They face greater risks for respiratory diseases and increased stress, and too often have to choose between putting food on the table and keeping their lights on.

#TaxDay Blog: Our Tax Money Underwrites BP’s Gulf Negligence

It’s April 15–tax day (at least on most years). Some of us get returns, some of us get surprised with extra taxes that are due, but no matter if you owe the IRS money or are owed money by the IRS, we are all getting fleeced to subsidize BP’s criminal behavior through our taxes. This is the largest environmental settlement ever reached in United States history. Yet it turns out that American taxpayers will be footing a large part of the bill, as $15.3 billion will be tax-deductible as “business expenses.” With BP’s tax rate, this leaves taxpayers on the hook for paying for more than $5 billion of BP’s criminal activity.