Opinion: Will Appalachian Regional Commission move to Kentucky?
Discussion of the Appalachian Regional Commission's (ARC) role in West Virginia and its potential relocation.
A Jobs Pitch in Ohio for a Clean-Energy Economy
An Ohio energy group is calling for great public awareness of the growth potential in the state’s clean-energy sector. Advocates say modernizing Ohio’s power system can enhance grid reliability, create jobs and keep electricity rates under control. “These kinds of policies are going to benefit all Ohioans,” one proponent said.
12,000-Home Solar Project Approved in Wyoming
Sweetwater County Commissioners have approved the biggest solar project on record for Wyoming, the country’s No. 1 coal producer. The 80-megawatt solar farm will cover one square mile and generate enough electricity for 12,000 homes. The project is a subsidiary of a Korean company.
Moody’s: U.S. Utilities Tied to Coal-Fired Business Models Are at Risk
Broad acceptance of renewable energy will drive more coal-fired power plants out of business, says a report from Moody’s Investors Services. “Utilities may be required to shut down carbon-emitting generation assets — particularly coal plants — before the end of their useful lives,” concludes the report, which details how cost and consumer preferences are driving transition.
Three Hard-Hit Kentucky Towns Continue to Weigh Merger
Cumberland, Benham, and Lynch, Ky., “face stark challenges because of declining tax bases and other problems” as they continue to consider the possibility of merging operations to survive. The Tri-City Chamber of Commerce is advocating for the move, in the municipalities’ best interest, and on the strength of a review by the Kentucky League of Cities.
Federal Inquiry Sought Into Westmoreland’s Ability to Deliver on Reclamation Responsibilities
A Montana conservation group has asked the Interior Department to investigate whether Westmoreland Coal has the financial wherewithal to meet its mine-cleanup obligations. Questions have emerged also as to whether the company’s “self-bonding” commitments are sustainable in Texas and Canada. Westmoreland is widely reported to be at risk of bankruptcy.
Report: U.S. Solar Jobs Outnumber Coal 2-1
A report from a think tank led by former U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz found that solar-industry jobs topped 350,000 last year, more than double the total in coal-related work. The report ties half of all 133,000 news jobs in the energy sector to efficiency initiatives. Solar is gaining also on the natural-gas industry.
Commentary: ‘Modernization Is the Ticket to National Energy Security’
Most discussion around the possibility of the federal government invoking the Defense Production Act of 1950 in order to keep failing coal-fired and nuclear electricity plants alive has avoided exploring more sensible policy recommendations.
Analysis: Closure of 8 Failing Coal Plants Would Not Affect Illinois Power Grid
Continuing to subsidize eight struggling coal-fired power plants in Illinois makes no sense, concludes two researchers at the National Resource Defense Council: “Dynegy-Vistra has contrived a problem that does not exist, arguing that if its coal plants closed, electricity supply in Central and Southern Illinois would be in jeopardy and the likelihood of power outages would significantly increase. That’s simply not true.”
Economy of Southwest Wyoming Town Hangs in the Balance
State officials plan to spend as much as $22.5 million to help expand a coal mine whose owner is in peril of bankruptcy and despite the loss of the mine’s main customer. “The developments regarding the mine and power plant raise questions about the economic future of Kemmerer, population 2,771, and surrounding communities,” where 300 people work at the Kemmerer Mine.