New Southeast EPA Administrator Faces Challenges Ahead

In the first month of 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency appointed Heather McTeer Toney as the new Region 4 Administrator. The former Regional Administrator, Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming, left to become chief of staff for EPA’s new chief administrator Gina McCarthy. Mrs. Toney, a private-sector attorney by trade, served as the first woman and first African-American mayor [...]

Alabama Voices: Coal ash a threat to state’s waters

This guest post is written by Cindy Lowry, Executive Director of Alabama Rivers Alliance and was originally published in the Montgomery Adviser on February 18, 2014. It is reposted here with permission.  If the recent chemical spill in West Virginia made you wonder about the safety of your drinking water supply, I don’t blame you. Over half [...]

Mississippi is the “sunshine state” for the Tennessee Valley Authority

Where are the best spots to build solar power in the Tennessee Valley Authority? It turns out, many of them are in Mississippi! We recently obtained 16 years of simulated solar power production data from Clean Power Research for the Tennessee Valley Authority region, looking at 26 sites scattered from east to west, and north [...]

Big Wind Turbines, Big Opportunity for the South

The Department of Energy just announced a $2 million funding opportunity for taller wind turbines, which is big news for everyone in the South. Not only could the funding go to a Southern business, but also the research to accompany the funding announcement shows a giant resource potential in the South that has been previously largely unknown.

Save Weiss Lake, Build a Wind Farm

Weiss Lake (located in Cherokee and Etowah Counties, Alabama) has the noble distinction of “Crappie Fishing Capital of the World” and is the lifeblood of Northeast Alabama’s tourism. The lake was created in the 1950s and 1960s as Alabama Power developed a hydroelectric dam on the Coosa River. Several organizations have developed in an effort to improve and protect Weiss Lake and the surrounding watershed. Wind farms may provide a new opportunity to advance those protection efforts. Wind farms use modern technology for electric generation, emit no air pollution and consume no water, and at the same time, offer local communities economic development that can spur reinvestment into local programs and infrastructure; key factors that make wind energy a clean power resource and a new tool to help save Weiss Lake.

Burning Coal, Burning Cash in the Southeast

The cost of importing coal is a drain on the economies of Southeastern states, particularly in those states that rely heavily on coal-fired power.  In an updated report, “Burning Coal, Burning Cash” the Union of Concerned Scientists use updated market data to determine just how much money is leaving the Southeast to pay for coal. [...]

UCS Report: Wind Cheaper than Keeping Alabama Coal Plants Alive

Newly updated research shows that Alabama is still high on the list of states with coal plants that may be more expensive to maintain than to replace with cleaner sources, as we noted in an earlier blog. The report, an update of the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Ripe for Retirement using 2012 numbers (the most [...]

4 Reasons to Celebrate Clean Energy in Alabama in 2013

  If you were around Birmingham in late November, you probably heard about (or came to) Renew Alabama: A Night of Positive Energy. Nearly 150 people stopped by Avondale Brewing Company to meet fellow clean energy fans, and celebrate Alabama’s energy progress and potential over a pint and some great dancing music. What were we [...]

Five years since Kingston: Perry County, Alabama’s Toxic Tragedy

This week marks the fifth anniversary of the Kingston coal ash spill, one of the worst environmental disasters in American history. In the weeks leading up to the anniversary, we have been posting a series of blogs highlighting communities throughout the Southeast impacted by coal ash and its detrimental effects. Thanks to the residents of Perry County, Alabama [...]

Many Coal Plants in the Southeast STILL Ripe for Retirement

The Union of Concerned Scientists(UCS) recently released an update to their existing report that identifies many coal units in the Southeast as “Ripe for Retirement.”   UCS re-analyzed the economics of operating coal units compared to the costs of other forms of generation using more recent 2011 data, updating a November 2012 UCS report.  UCS’ new findings are [...]