Electric Vehicle Weekly News Roundup – Oct 26

Courtesy of Workhorse

Electric Vehicles

Ohio based electric vehicle manufacturer Workhorse is delivering on delivery vans! New 100-mile Electric Van Matches Diesel Vans On Price, Workhorse Says. Workhorse CEO Stephen S. Burns said that the van would have “an off-the-lot cost on par with traditional fuel delivery vehicles, and substantial savings from there.”

This Electric Truck Claims To Fully Recharge Within 13 Minutes. Atlis Motor Vehicles is testing their pickup truck with a claimed “best ultra-fast charging time in the EV industry.” Pickup trucks and SUV crossovers dominate the American market right now so this could be just the thing to bring more drivers to go electric! Read more…

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This Sunday and Monday, Show Your Support for “the Climate Kids”

On this upcoming Sunday and Monday, October 28-29, there will be rallies all over the Southeast to support the twenty-one youth plaintiffs suing the federal government in order to create a national climate action plan in a case called Juliana v. U.S. Rallies will take place in Florida, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, and many other states around the country. Find your local rally here.

Juliana v. U.S. is a historic lawsuit, filed in 2015 by twenty-one youth plaintiffs, aged 8 to 19 years old, which alleges that the federal government has taken actions that exacerbate global warming, and such actions violate the Constitutional rights of Americans, especially those of youth and future generations. The case has surmounted numerous legal challenges and attempts to get the case dismissed by the fossil fuel industry, the Obama administration, and the Trump administration, and each time, the courts have ruled that the case should proceed.

The trial was scheduled to begin on Monday, October 29, but a last-minute emergency request by the Trump administration to delay the trial was granted by the Supreme Court of the U.S., meaning the trial may or may not proceed as scheduled on Monday. Nonetheless, communities all over the country are gathering to declare that the kids should be heard and that our nation needs a national climate action plan. Read more…

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Florida’s Amendment 9 – Frequently Asked Questions


What is Amendment 9?

Amendment 9 will prohibit drilling for oil or natural gas in Florida’s state waters and include tobacco vaping in the existing prohibition of tobacco smoking in enclosed indoor workplaces. Learn more at www.yeson9florida.org

What offshore area would Amendment 9 cover?

Amendment 9 would prohibit drilling in state waters, which extend three miles offshore on the Atlantic coast and nine miles offshore on the Gulf coast. Waters beyond these distances are regulated by the federal government, and Florida cannot prohibit drilling in federal waters.

Isn’t there already a law prohibiting drilling?

Florida currently has prohibition in state statute against drilling in state-owned waters, but laws can be undone, and in 2009, the Florida House of Representatives voted to lift drilling ban. This measure was introduced under highly irregular circumstances with eight days left of the 60 day regular session. The proposal received very little discussion and was pushed through. Fortunately, the Florida Senate did not comply and the measure died.

Why does this belong in the Constitution?

The 2009 vote to lift the existing near-shore ban demonstrates why we need greater protection in the state constitution. Laws can be changed and our tourism economy, jobs and natural environment are too important to be left to political whims. 

Read more…

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Electric Vehicle Weekly News Roundup – Oct 19

“The U.S. Has 1 Million Electric Vehicles, but Does It Matter?” The article includes a summary of the current dire need for EVs as a solution to decarbonizing our transportation sector, the global market summary, manufacturer sentiment, and how local leadership can guide the U.S. there. It references the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report that warns nations of the need to rapidly transition the transportation sector to electric.

Although the U.S. federal government has not been supportive of policies to decarbonize, many states and local municipalities have been working hard to promote and expand driving electric. Therefore, for this week’s news roundup we chose to highlight some great work by EV enthusiasts that made the 2018 National Drive Electric Week a success!

The 2018 National Drive Electric Week (NDEW) saw record-breaking participation from electric vehicle drivers and attendees with over 321 events in all 50 states. NDEW started in 2011 as a single day devoted to showcasing the value and benefits of driving electric and has grown to a full week across the nation. This year from September 8-16 people all across the country learned more about electric vehicles at these engaging events. Plug-In America, one of the event’s national sponsors, recorded over 9,000 ride and drives! The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) participated in promoting, attending and broadcasting many events throughout the Southeast. Below are some highlights. Read more…

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FAKE NEWS alert: “Zombie” Bellefonte reactors remain a bad bet

The infamous, “zombie” Bellefonte reactors near Scottsboro, Alabama were cancelled in 2016 by TVA after being mothballed for many decades (and cannibalized for parts used at other reactors) with billions of dollars spent/wasted. The project remains a very, very bad economic bet despite recent efforts by Franklin L. Haney’s Nuclear Development, LLC to lure Memphis Gas Light & Water (MLGW) into buying power from it.

The Bellefonte site has a fascinatingly long, complicated history that serves as the poster child for all that often goes wrong with nuclear power construction projects, which can be summed up in one word: failure. And failures aren’t worth repeating, especially multi-billion dollar failures with serious outstanding safety concerns that have already cost utility customers too much for literally no electricity ever produced.

Cartoon courtesy of Tom Ferguson

Why is MLGW being courted?

It’s important to remember that Mr. Haney has been trying to revive the Bellefonte project for years (see our analysis on a privatization scheme for the site back in 2013 here) and won the bid to acquire the abandoned plant for pennies on the dollar from TVA in 2016. But now, Nuclear Development, LLC is apparently trying to get over $8 billion in controversial taxpayer-backed federal nuclear loan guarantees for the project. There is a November 2018 deadline by which they need to show the Department of Energy that they may have a customer to one day purchase the electricity (that likely will never be generated).

Enter the Courtship of MLGW. Haney and his friends are promising massive cost savings to MLGW. And get this – Michael Cohen (yeah, that Michael Cohen) reportedly is also part of this bizarre affair: “Franklin Haney, a Chattanooga developer who is a principal with Nuclear Development, has come under scrutiny after allegedly offering President Donald Trump’s former associate, Michael Cohen, $10 million if he could help Haney land the federal loan.”

Read more…

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V.C. Summer and Dominion: How to Save Customers Money and Protect the Environment

V.C. Summer nuclear project, May 2017. Courtesy High Flyer 2017.

V.C. Summer nuclear project, May 2017. Courtesy High Flyer 2017.

South Carolina’s energy regulator–the Public Service Commission (PSC)–will be hearing a very important case in November to decide the future of the abandoned V.C. Summer nuclear project and SCE&G’s proposed merger with Dominion Energy, which will shape South Carolina’s energy future for decades.

Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) has intervened in the docket with Coastal Conservation League, represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center, and we have submitted testimony from several experts showing how to save customers money, serve the public interest, and increase customer protection while investing in the reliable, low-cost clean energy future that our state’s citizens desire. Testimony here, here, and here.

Our testimony contains three recommendations to protect customers, to save them money, and to protect the environment. Read more…

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Trump Administration’s “Affordable Clean Energy” Rule Is Anything But

This is a guest blog written by Julie McNamara with the Union for Concerned Scientists. The original blog can be viewed here.

 

If there’s one thing you need to know about the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule, the Trump Administration’s new proposal for limiting carbon emissions from power plants, it’s this: ACE was not designed to reduce emissions; ACE was designed to boost generation from coal plants.

Which is audacious! A clean air standard that somehow manages to increase the nation’s use of its dirtiest power source, even when compared against a scenario with no carbon standards at all?

Remarkably, yes.

Because under the cover of establishing emissions guidelines, ACE is actually peddling regulatory work-arounds that aim to increase coal generation, a brazen attempt at stalling the industry’s precipitous decline.

How could something like this possibly come to pass from an agency whose core mission is to protect human health and the environment? A proposal that not only manages to increase emissions, but also worsens public health and raises costs?

Here, we’ll take a look.

With ACE, something is worse than nothing

ACE is the Trump Administration’s proposed replacement to the Clean Power Plan (CPP), a standard developed by the Obama Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to cut carbon pollution from power plants. Both ACE and the CPP are underpinned by the agency’s Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings, which necessitate that EPA regulate carbon emissions to protect human health and welfare. Read more…

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Hurricane Michael and Climate Change: What We Know

Chris Carnevale with SACE contributed to this blog post.

Photo 10/10/2018, 11:52 PM; taken from https://www.nesdis.noaa.gov/content/hurricane-imagery

It’s hard to believe we are writing another blog about another big hurricane headed towards the Southeast not even a month after Hurricane Florence struck the Carolinas. But we are! If you are in the path of Hurricane Michael, here are tips to stay safe from the Department of Homeland Security. As we mentioned in our pre-Hurricane Florence blog, we must keep talking about preparing longer term for hurricanes in a warmer world.

First, it needs to be said that hurricanes are not caused by climate change. However, it’s also important to understand that the impacts of hurricanes are very much influenced by a warming climate. NOAA states that the average temperature for September 2018 across the contiguous U.S. coming was 67.8 degrees F (2.9 degrees above average), making it the fourth hottest September in the 124-year record. Let’s take a deeper dive on the links are between hurricanes and climate change. Read more…

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Electric Vehicle Weekly News Roundup – Oct 5

Electric Vehicles
Volkswagen appears to have concrete plans to back-up their announcement last week of 10 million EVs. They laid out details of the Modular Electric Toolkit/MEB platform, which will be the base for their electric fleet among other aspects of how they plan to turn out high production numbers of EVs. Read on, here.

The article It Costs Less To Fuel An Electric Car, And Why compares fuel costs between gasoline and electricity and demonstrates why it’s much cheaper to fuel an EV.

Infrastructure
Hatteras Island, North Carolina now has public electric vehicle charging stations. “The Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative installed stations in Rodanthe and in Hatteras Village near the ferry docks, said Laura Ertle, spokeswoman for the organization.”  Read more…

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Where the 2018 Candidates Stand on Energy: Democratic Nominee for Florida Senator Bill Nelson

This post is the seventeenth in a series of blogs examining where the 2018 candidates for state and federal offices in the Southeast stand on key energy and climate issues. SACE staffers, George Cavros, Susan Glickman, and Alissa Schafer contributed to this post. To read the candidate profile for Florida Republican Nominee for U.S. Senate, Rick Scott, click here

 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.

Candidate: Bill Nelson

Bill Nelson is the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate from Florida. He has served in that position since 2000. Nelson is a fifth-generation Floridian and was a Captain in the US Army. Previously, Nelson served in the U.S. House of Representatives and as Treasurer and Insurance Commissioner for Florida. Prior to serving in the U.S. Senate, Nelson was an astronaut, flying on the Columbia Space Shuttle.

Renewables

Nelson has stated in filing a bill to allow greater access to financing for solar power that “Florida is the nation’s Sunshine State but ranks twelfth when it comes to solar production.” He added: “That needs to change. This bill will make it easier for homeowners to invest in their own solar installations while, at the same time, making it easier for larger renewable energy companies to access the capital they need to expand and create more jobs in Florida.” According to his website, the bill could further expand the solar industry in Florida by allowing banks to invest heavily in the renewable energy sector, a financial move that is currently banned under Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation regulation. Read more…

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