Remembering TN’s Coal Ash Problems After NC’s Dan River Disaster

In the wake of the recent coal ash disaster at Duke Energy’s Dan River plant in Eden, NC, environmental groups have become increasingly concerned with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s (TDEC) handling of toxic coal ash within the state. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Tennessee’s coal ash impoundments can hold up [...]

Dan River Disaster Recap Timeline

Having trouble keeping track of all the developments since the Dan River disaster began over a month ago? We continue to be amazed that the coal ash spill and subsequent developments have been in the news almost every day. This story has more twists and turns than the Dan River itself; sparking significant public outcry, [...]

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 [...]

Solar Mythbusters #3: Too much solar power?

Myth: High levels of solar penetration are too disruptive for utility and grid operations. This is the third in our Solar Mythbusters series: check out the cloud and intermittency myths we already busted. Cost and complexity are often cited as barriers to integrating large amounts of solar power on a utility grid system. More specifically, [...]

Duke Energy: This is Not Leadership

Shorter versions of this oped were originally published in North Carolina in the Charlotte Observer on February 10, 2014 (found here) and in Florida in the Tampa Bay Times on February 11, 2014 (found here). When Duke Energy merged with Progress Energy to form the largest utility company in the United States, our organization wondered [...]

Thirteen More Coal Ash Disasters Waiting to Happen

Four days after the Southeast’s most recent coal ash disaster began, Duke Energy has yet to stop coal ash flowing into the Dan River. The impoundment failure is now the nation’s 3rd worst coal ash disaster and 13 additional Duke Energy power plants lurk across the state with old ash impoundments, already cited in lawsuits as [...]

Elections Matter: The Race for Florida’s Governor

Even though 2014 has just begun, we’re looking down the road to the upcoming November elections. There will be many important contests this year, but there is no race that has more potential impact on climate and clean energy policy than the 2014 Florida gubernatorial election.  In the limited space we have here, we will [...]

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. [...]

How the Polar Vortex is Fueled by and a Threat to Our Energy Infrastructure

“More and more Arctic sea ice is melting during summer months. The more ice that melts, the more the Arctic Ocean warms. The ocean radiates much of that excess heat back to the atmosphere in winter, which disrupts the polar vortex. Data taken over the past decade indicate that when a lot of Arctic sea ice disappears in the summer, the vortex has a tendency to weaken over the subsequent winter, if related atmospheric conditions prevail over the northern Atlantic Ocean.”

2013 – a big year for Florida’s fight against the nuclear ‘tax’

Reflecting back on 2013, the work that stands out the most for me is the campaign to repeal the advanced nuclear recovery fee, or “nuclear tax.” For years, SACE has been actively involved in protecting Florida’s electric utility ratepayers from the anti-consumer legislation that has allowed Duke Energy (formerly Progress) and Florida Power and Light (FPL) to [...]