Guest Blog: Everyday Climate Vulnerability in Places like Memphis

This is a guest blog written by Shelley Poticha with NRDC. To read the original post, click here. Big storms like Harvey in Houston and Katrina in New Orleans garner weeks of headlines. But each American city has a climate story to tell—one that affects people every day and that can be just as devastating […]

How Students in Memphis are Uplifting Their Community…and How You Can Help!

SACE’s intern, Jazzmyn Davenport, and her fellow college students wanted to find a tangible way to do something to help these struggling residents right now. Last week, they kicked off a one-month giving campaign across multiple campuses called One Less for Plus One, to raise money for a program that helps pay high utility bills for families in need.

Honoring Black History Month: Cornelia Crenshaw, Unsung Hero of the Civil Rights Movement

As Black History Month comes to a close, we wanted to take the time to recognize a woman who had a significant impact on the Civil Rights movement and was one of the pioneers of the Energy Justice movement. We acknowledge and honor Cornelia Crenshaw and all of her endeavors, particularly her commitment to Memphis’ African American community. Thanks to her dedication and tireless work, Memphis’ utility, Memphis Light, Gas, and Water (MLGW), instituted partial payment on utility bills. By allowing partial payments, versus requiring full payment for utility bills, lower-income customers and those on a fixed income are able to keep their lights on, even if they are unable to pay the full amount due.

TVA’s Extravagant Executive Toys at Your Expense

Just when you thought the excessive executive compensation was bad, it appears that the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) CEO Bill Johnson, already the highest paid federal employee in the entire country taking home over $6.5 in total compensation in 2017, spent the last few years on a spending spree buying new corporate jets, airplanes and a luxury helicopter. Over the past two and a half years it looks like the grand total of the spending spree comes in at about $40,000,000.

Worst to First? Lifting up Tennessee Through the Proud Voter Challenge

Angela Garrone, SACE’s Southeast Energy Research Attorney contributed to this blog post.  Here in the South, we are experiencing an extreme drought in the form of elected officials who understand the importance of clean energy for our country’s future. In just the past year, wind energy development in North Carolina is under attack, and offshore drilling and seismic blasting […]

What Could TVA Do, If No One Was Looking?

Recently, two southeastern utilities found themselves facing scandal head-on as major projects fell apart, leaving the utility – and potentially customers – covering lost costs that add up to billions of dollars. Both Southern Company’s Kemper County integrated gasification combined cycle plant and SCE&G’s VC Summer nuclear plant serve as important reminders that decision making […]

Walking in Memphis—Just Feet Above a Coal Ash Cesspool

Memphis residents now have another reason to sing the blues. Last week, the nation’s largest public utility, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), admitted that the groundwater beneath its Allen coal-burning power plant is poisoned with astronomically high amounts of arsenic. Levels of the potent carcinogen measure nearly 400 times the federal limit for drinking water. In addition, lead in the groundwater is more than four times the standard.

A Penny Shared is a Penny Used to Lift Energy Burdens in Memphis

More often than not, Memphians rely on each other in the face of a challenge, so it’s only appropriate that now, when other options are unavailable in the short-term, Memphians are turning to each other to help lift unnecessarily high energy burdens that are contributing to an intergenerational cycle of poverty. The Share the Pennies program, which came out of a community-driven effort to find relief for burdened communities, is betting that Memphians will once again come to each other’s aid in the short-term, as we continue to fight for long-term solutions from sources outside our communities.

Memphis Wins BIG in the Solar in Your Community Challenge!

Summer is just around the corner and the sun is already shining on Memphis, TN. Five Memphis teams are moving forward to the next phase of the SunShot Prize: Solar In Your Community Challenge, a Department of Energy initiative aimed at increasing opportunities and access to solar resources in lower-income communities (The State University of New York Polytechnic Institute will administer the Challenge). Memphis is prime real estate for solar projects, thanks both to geography and the long hours of sunlight we get throughout the year. Couple that with a high number of communities living in poverty and in need of cheap power – the SunShot Challenge is a perfect fit for Memphis.

What’s Wrong With This Picture? TVA’s So-Called Coal Ash “Solution”

The Tennessee Valley Authority is planning to “clean up” 13.4 million tons of coal ash by capping it in place. Our new animation shows why cap in place is not a solution for unlined ash pits: it doesn’t keep ash separated from groundwater. Click the image on the left to watch the 30-second clip, and then […]