Federal climate funds to help Ohio cities slash emissions from wastewater operations
Energy News Network
by Kathiann M. Kowalski
2d ago
Biogas projects at wastewater plants serving Columbus and Cincinnati will offset roughly 50,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas annually, according to city officials. The Columbus Department of Public Utilities estimates biogas cogeneration projects for its Southerly and Jackson Pike plants will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 34,000 and 13,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents, respectively. That’s the equivalent of taking 10,100 passenger vehicles off the road, said Robert Priestas, administrator for the department’s division of sewers and drains. The utilities also can get b ..read more
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A Chicago advocate builds climate resilience, one green space at a time
Energy News Network
by Audrey Henderson
2d ago
Annamaria Leon was initially enchanted by the lush greenery of Douglass Park and the handsome greystone homes of North Lawndale, located on Chicago’s West Side. But it wasn’t until after she moved into the greystone she first rented and would eventually purchase that she realized what lay beneath the surface of the stunning architecture of the neighborhood and its showplace park: the ravages of decades of redlining, disinvestment and racial unrest.  “I got off the highway and I ended up in North Lawndale. I thought it was the most beautiful place in the world. Douglass Park, you know, an ..read more
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Despite millions spent on service upgrades, Ohio utilities still miss reliability marks
Energy News Network
by Kathiann M. Kowalski
2d ago
Correction: The Ohio Consumers’ Counsel is Maureen Willis. A previous version of this story misstated her name. Last year was the eighth in a row that at least one of Ohio’s regulated electric utilities failed to meet one or both company-specific reliability standards set by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.  Companies providing service to a majority of Ohio ratepayers also missed one of their marks last year. These utilities’ track records suggest consumers aren’t getting full bang for their buck, even as they’re charged millions for riders purportedly for grid improvements, vege ..read more
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Groups urge N.C. regulators to push Duke Energy on solar and wind, pump the brakes on new gas
Energy News Network
by Elizabeth Ouzts
2d ago
It’s become a biannual tradition. Since 2021, when North Carolina adopted a law requiring Duke Energy to zero out its carbon pollution, advocates have spent every other year poring over the company’s plans for supplying this state of 11 million with clean electricity.  As of late last month, the first phase of the new ritual is now complete: citizens turned out by the hundreds to public hearings around the state and submitted written comments; and dozens of organizations, businesses, and large customers filed testimony to the state’s Utilities Commission, charged with approving or amendi ..read more
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Study: Minorities ‘systematically’ underrepresented in US petrochemical workforce
Energy News Network
by Terry L. Jones / Floodlight
6d ago
This country’s heaviest polluters also rely on a workforce that disproportionately fails to fill good-paying jobs with people of color who are more likely to be affected by their emissions, according to a new study. The research, from Tulane University’s Environmental Law Clinic — currently under peer review — finds that people of color are underrepresented in high-paying jobs in both the chemical manufacturing and petroleum/coal industry. And Louisiana, with one of the largest concentrations of petrochemical facilities in the United States, is the only state where minorities were underr ..read more
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Massachusetts advocates say proposed statewide energy efficiency plan falls short on equity
Energy News Network
by Sarah Shemkus
6d ago
Massachusetts environmental justice advocates say the $5 billion statewide energy efficiency plan that could take effect next year needs to do even more to reach low-income residents, renters, and other populations who have traditionally received fewer benefits.   The plan, which will guide efficiency programming from 2025 through 2027, outlines wide-ranging initiatives that would support weatherization and heat pumps for homes and small businesses, improve the customer experience with more timely rebate processing and increased multilingual support, and expand the energy efficiency ..read more
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Coal industry a no-show at Wyoming event to rally against federal leasing ban
Energy News Network
by Dustin Bleizeffer, WyoFile
1w ago
GILLETTE—The Biden administration’s proposal to end federal coal leasing in the Powder River Basin will have “grave” and “drastic” consequences for Campbell County, the nation’s largest coal supplier and a bulwark of Wyoming’s economy for the past 50 years, residents and local officials say. If implemented, the proposal will destroy the livelihoods of thousands of miners and their families here and gut the community’s economy, Gillette resident George Dunlap said. “We have to stop the Biden administration from destroying it because they will. We can’t sit back and say ‘What’s going on?’” Dunl ..read more
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Charlottesville, Virginia, shows how small cities can take a lead on zero-emissions public transit
Energy News Network
by Elizabeth McGowan
1w ago
By gradually nudging aside its diesel buses, Charlottesville’s transit agency is punching above its weight. The city of 45,000 at the edge of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains is matching the likes of larger counterparts in New York, Chicago and San Diego with a carbon-curbing proposal to convert to a zero-emission public transit fleet by 2040. By then, its routes will be served by electric buses. Granted, some environmental advocacy organizations urged a speedier transition and are disappointed the city won’t retire its last diesel bus until 2039. However, groups aligned with the Community Cli ..read more
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As sprawl threatens farmland, proposed Maine rules single out just one competing land use: solar
Energy News Network
by Annie Ropeik
1w ago
Solar developers will pay a premium to build projects on prime farmland under new rules in the works in Maine.  The state Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry is drafting the rules based on a 2023 law that authorized it to collect extra fees from developers whose projects impact at least 5 acres of “high-value agricultural soils,” which regulators will define in rulemaking underway this summer.  The program could involve a range of new fees for different kinds of farmland and project impacts, with money being set aside for “farmland conservation and solar mitigation ..read more
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High rates, poor service spark new wave of utility municipalization campaigns
Energy News Network
by Akielly Hu / Grist
1w ago
Activists pushing San Diego to take over the city’s investor-owned utility aren’t letting last year’s defeat of a similar effort in Maine deter their goal of establishing a nonprofit power company. They recently submitted petitions bearing more than 30,000 signatures from residents who want the City Council to let voters decide the matter this fall. Advocates say a municipal takeover of San Diego Gas & Electric would deliver cheaper rates and a faster, more affordable, and more equitable transition to clean energy. Still, the measure faces long odds from skeptical council members who have ..read more
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