Southeastern states may soon have an added incentive for developing energy efficiency and renewable energy resources that directly benefit low-income communities and utility customers. These potential new incentives come in the form of draft federal regulatory language, which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working to finalize as part of the entire rulemaking process for the Clean Power Plan (CPP).
This program, known as the Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP), is an early-action, voluntary piece of the larger CPP aimed at ensuring communities who suffered the negative effects of fossil-fuel energy generation and economically disadvantaged communities see real benefits from increased clean energy development. Although utilities, state agencies, industry, and the general public have all weighed in on pieces of the CEIP in previous CPP related comment period, the current EPA document open for comment will become the official design details for the CEIP. Comments can be sent directly to EPA (info on how to do that here) and are due by 11:59pm, Monday, August 29th.
On the heels of giving Georgia Power the go-ahead to explore building possibly two nuclear reactors at an undeveloped site in Stewart County along the Chattahoochee River near Columbus, today the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) unanimously approved an additional $160 million in expenditures for the at least 39-month delayed nuclear expansion of Plant Vogtle near Waynesboro along the Savannah River. It’s important to note that Commissioner McDonald was the sole dissenting vote on the Stewart Co. decision, responsibly mentioning concerns not only about harm to utility customers but also about negative impacts to the Chattahoochee, which is at the center of the decades long Tri-State Water War among Georgia, Florida and Alabama.
The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) not only identifies problems, but is also committed to advocating for solutions. One of the most significant water quality problems in the Southeast is the ongoing pollution at Florida Power and Light’s (FPL) Turkey Point cooling canal system. This open industrial sewer appears to be in direct conflict with FPL’s corporate environmental stewardship goals. And a slick PR campaign can’t cover up evidence that this system is failing and needs to be fixed.
The Green Party recently announced its 2016 presidential candidate: Dr. Jill Stein. Stein was the party’s nominee in 2012, but this year she hopes to benefit from higher levels of voter discontent in order to lead her to the White House. The Green Party has developed a “four pillar” platform based on “peace, ecology, social justice and democracy.” While this blog is not meant to be a comprehensive assessment of Dr. Jill Stein’s stance on energy issues, we hope it provides a general overview for evaluating where she may stand on issues of interest to energy-focused voters: coal, climate change, renewables, efficiency, natural gas, nuclear and drilling.
Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation, is a champion of the environment, standing up to protect the natural resources that have sustained Gullah/Geechee people for generations. Just as Queen Quet stands up to preserve the natural resources that have sustained Gullah/Geechee people for generations, so too does she stand up for other aspects of the cultural heritage, which face challenges from many other economic, political, and social factors. To this end, Queen Quet is hosting the Gullah/Geechee Nation International Music & Movement Festival this weekend (August 5-7) which will showcase Gullah/Geechee arts, music, and cuisine to celebrate and share the culture.
On July 21 – July 22, 2016, SACE staff attended the Coal Ash Management Forum in Charlotte, NC. The forum was organized by the Environmental Research and Education Foundation (EREF) which funds research on waste management practices. SACE manages Southeastcoalash.org which maps coal ash facilities throughout the region and provides the latest information on coal ash risks and [...]
This post is the second in a series of blogs examining where 2016 candidates for President or Governor of North Carolina stand on key energy issues. Note: The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy does not support or oppose candidates or political parties. Links to reports, candidate websites and outside sources are provided as citizen education tools.
Our followers on social media think the answer should be “as much as possible,” but in our brief SACE argues in favor of a cap of 2,500 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy, likely to be mainly solar and wind. Georgia Power has proposed only 525 MW, and other parties have signaled interest in 1,200 MW or 2,000 MW. What’s remarkable about this “debate” is that everyone involved agrees that whatever the number, Georgia Power customers will end up saving money as these projects will cost less than the projected cost of generating power. This approach to developing renewable energy has been led by Commissioner Bubba McDonald.
This is a guest post was written by Joshua Axelrod, Policy Analyst for the Canada Project of Natural Resources Defense Council, and originally ran on July 26th on the NRDC blog here. In November 2015, President Obama announced the rejection of the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. The announcement ended a six year fight between environmentalists, Alberta’s oil [...]
Where the 2016 Candidates Stand on Energy Issues: Donald Trump