In a close 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States sent the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Mercury Air Toxics Standard (MATS) rule back to a lower court for review. Justice Scalia wrote the majority opinion, which hinged on an interpretation of administrative law requirements and did not overturn EPA’s ability to regulate hazardous air pollutants from power plants.
While the Court did not overturn EPA’s analysis and conclusion that public health benefits of the MATS rule vastly outweigh the costs to the coal and oil industry, it did find that EPA should have first considered whether it was appropriate to regulate power plants under the Clean Air Act’s hazardous air pollution safeguards.
Recently, Google announced its plans to open its 14th data center – this new one in Northern Alabama. The internet giant will be building the data center inside the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA’s) Widows Creek coal plant, which is set to retire . Google will begin construction in 2016 and is working with TVA to ensure that the data center is powered by renewable energy resources. The data center will take advantage of the existing transmission lines at the plant to bring in renewable energy.
This guest post by Dr. Stacie Propst, executive director of GASP, was originally published on GASP’s website on May 28, 2015. A report titled “What Public Service? How the Alabama Public Service Commission’s misplaced priorities put utility profits over people” was released last week by Greater Birmingham Ministries. GASP has been seeking transparency at the [...]
On May 7, Duke held its annual shareholder meeting outside its headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. Like most publicly-traded corporations, Duke tried to put on a “dog and pony show” to excite investors and financial media about the prospects for Duke’s future. Instead, Duke’s CEO Lynn Good was interrupted by vocal protests and forced again [...]
Lisa Evans is an attorney specializing in hazardous waste law. Ms. Evans has been active in hazardous waste litigation and advocacy for over 25 years. Since 2006, she has been a senior administrative counsel for Earthjustice. Lisa’s blog was originally posted here. ************************* You have to acknowledge the tenacity of Rep. David McKinley (R, WV). [...]
Last week, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS), set to go into effect next month. The MATS rule, finalized in December 2011, requires coal-fired power plants to reduce emissions of toxic air pollutants through the installation of pollution [...]
This guest blog was written by Emma Greenbaum, who is the Sierra Club’s Organizing Representative for North Carolina Beyond Coal in Asheville, NC. For the past several years, the Asheville Beyond Coal campaign has been speaking out publicly and building support for transition off of coal at Duke Energy’s Asheville coal plant. We have brought attention to the threat [...]
The Natural Gas Gamble Today, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) released a new analysis, which shows that instead of aggressive over-reliance on natural gas by utilities as they phase out coal plants, a far better bet for achieving a clean energy future is to greatly expand the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency. [...]
How do ratepayers usually know whether or not the electricity bills they pay are fair? In many states with monopoly investor-owned electric utilities, ratepayers typically have access to and can participate in the utility’s process for deciding what sources of energy to invest in. State regulators publicly review and approve a key utility document called [...]
Updated at 4:40pm ET, on February 16 to reflect correct solar capacity planned for military bases in Georgia Power’s service territory. Gulf Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company and one of the smallest investor-owned electric utilities in Florida, just took not one, not two, but THREE steps forward on clean energy in as many weeks. First, [...]