Friday, August 12, 2011

New Rules and Old Plants May Strain Summer Energy Supplies -

The E.P.A. estimates that a rule on air toxins and mercury that it expects to complete in November will result in a loss of 10,000 megawatts — or almost 1 percent of the generating capacity in the United States. Electricity experts, however, say that rule, combined with forthcoming ones on coal ash and cooling water, will have a much greater effect — from 48,000 megawatts to 80,000 megawatts, or 3.5 to 7 percent.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sagging Verizon Landline Division Is at the Heart of Strike -

Steven Greenhouse
"In defending the company’s push for concessions — including a pension freeze, fewer sick days and far higher employee health contributions — Verizon’s chief executive, Lowell McAdam, said in a letter to employees, “The existing contract provisions, negotiated initially when Verizon was under far less competitive pressure, are not in line with the economic realities of business today.”

Officials with the striking unions — the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers — insist that the landline division is doing just fine. They note that its profit margins have increased over the last five quarters and that its FiOS TV and Internet service is growing strongly."

Panel Seeks Stiffer Rules for Drilling of Gas Wells -

Robbie Brown and Ian Urbina
"In a report on the drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, that is used currently in most oil and gas wells, the seven-member Natural Gas Subcommittee called for better tracking and more careful disposal of the waste that comes up from wells, stricter standards on air pollution and greenhouse gases associated with drilling, and the creation of a federal database so the public can better monitor drilling operations."

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Westinghouse: Reactor passes last safety step - Business -

The Associated Press
"CRANBERRY, Pa. — Westinghouse Electric Co. says the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has determined its new AP1000 nuclear reactor design is safe enough to withstand the impact of a plane crashing into it."

Monday, August 8, 2011

N.C. lets Duke Energy spend $120M on Lee plant planning - Charlotte Business Journal

John Downey
"North Carolina regulators have joined their South Carolina counterparts in authorizing Duke Energy to spend up to $120 million on planning for the proposed $11 billion Lee Nuclear Station in Gaffney, S.C.
Duke had once sought authorization to spend up to $229 million through the end of 2013 on planning for the project. The company scaled down the request after the March earthquake and tsunami that crippled four nuclear reactors in Japan.
Duke had spent $230 million on planning for Lee before the start of this year."

Duke Energy wants 15% rate hike in S.C. | & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper

Bruce Henderson
"Duke Energy filed a request Friday to raise rates 15 percent for its 600,000 S.C. customers, about a year and a half after winning approval for a 5.2 percent overall hike.

Residential rates would go up 17 percent, adding $15 to typical monthly bills. Including fuel-cost adjustments expected to be made this fall, S.C. residents now pay an average of $99 a month."

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Costs for energy improvements can be wrapped into mortgage - Business -

Eve Mitchell - Contra Costa Times
"Under the FHA’s Energy Efficient Mortgage program, a borrower can add up to $8,000 — or 5 percent of the home’s value, whichever is more — to the loan amount to pay for qualified improvements, and up to $2,000 for weatherization improvements."

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