Energy & Environment

Cost controversies still inflame critics of Plant Vogtle expansion as kilowatts go online

BY: - June 5, 2023

Georgia Power customers have been vocal about their displeasure over ratepayers bearing the hefty tab for the nuclear power expansion at Plant Vogtle.  Opponents of the Plant Vogtle expansion, including residential customers and organizations like the Sierra Club of Georgia, argue that household and commercial customers are shouldering a larger portion of the project’s expenses […]

Decarbonization ambitions ignite debate over mining, permitting

BY: - June 2, 2023

The decarbonized, electrified future envisioned by the Biden administration, state governments, automakers, utility companies and corporate sustainability goals depends to a huge degree on minerals and metals. Lots more lithium will be needed for car and truck batteries, as well as the big banks of batteries that are increasingly popping onto the electric grid to […]

After years of setbacks, new Plant Vogtle unit hits ‘100 percent power’ for first time

BY: - May 30, 2023

This story was updated at 4:57 p.m. on Tuesday, May 30, 2023, with additional comment.  The nation’s first nuclear expansion project in 30 years reached a breakthrough this week with one of Plant Vogtle’s new reactors reaching 100% power capacity. Georgia Power announced Monday that Plant Vogtle’s Unit 3 reactor had reached its maximum energy […]

U.S. Supreme Court rejects Biden wetlands regulation, ruling for Idaho couple

BY: - May 25, 2023

The U.S. Supreme Court in a major environmental decision on  Thursday overturned the Environmental Protection Agency’s definition of wetlands that fall under the agency’s jurisdiction, siding with an Idaho couple who’d said they should not be required to obtain federal permits to build on their property that lacked any navigable water. All nine justices agreed […]

Head of Georgia environmental agency steps down to oversee Jekyll Island management

BY: - May 23, 2023

This story was updated at 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 24, 2023 with additional comment.  Longtime commissioner of the state Department of Natural Resources announced Tuesday that he will step down to lead the Jekyll Island Authority. Mark Williams, who has led the agency for more than 12 years, told the Board of Natural Resources that […]

Sluggish pace of interconnection might jeopardize states’ renewable goals, report says

BY: - May 22, 2023

Despite reforms meant to speed up the queue, delays in getting mostly new solar, wind and storage projects through the largest American grid operator’s interconnection process could make it tough for some states to hit their renewable energy goals, per a report released this month by an environmental group.  The report by the Natural Resources […]

Georgia’s air polluted with fewer emissions as coal-fired electricity production winds down

BY: - May 19, 2023

A new report released this week offers a rare bit of positive climate news: Overall greenhouse emissions in Georgia declined 5% from 2017 to 2021, due largely to the state’s largest electric utility moving away from coal. And when it comes to per-person emissions, those declined by 8% during that four-year period. The report, issued […]

State regulators approve 12% Georgia Power rate hike to start this summer

BY: - May 16, 2023

Georgia Power customers will see their electric bills rise dramatically starting in June as the company begins to recoup $2.1 billion in fuel costs. The average Georgia Power household will begin paying 12% more for monthly utility bills as summer temperatures rise in June after state regulators on Tuesday approved the company’s $6.6 billion fuel […]

Rural electric co-ops to get $10.7B in USDA funds for clean energy grants, loans

BY: - May 16, 2023

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will begin to administer two loan and grant programs worth nearly $11 billion to boost clean energy systems in rural areas, administration officials said Tuesday. Congress approved the federal spending — $9.7 billion for a grant and loan program the department is calling the New Empowering Rural America program, or […]

Georgia antebellum textile mill to stop sending ‘forever chemicals’ to Chattooga River

BY: - May 15, 2023

Under pressure, a South Carolina-based manufacturing company has agreed to stop using PFAS-containing products at a major textile mill in northwest Georgia. Mount Vernon Mills will permanently eliminate use of all per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances by the end of the year at its Trion facility, which is about 30 miles north of Rome, according to […]

State regulators poised to OK steep Georgia Power rate hike request this week

BY: - May 15, 2023

State regulators have heard final pleas imploring them to reject Georgia Power’s request for ratepayers to foot an expensive fuel expense bill, which would result in higher electricity bills starting in June. Georgia Power and the state Public Service Commission’s Public Interest Advocacy staff are asking the five-member panel to approve an agreement that would […]

The U.S. is undergoing its worst bird flu outbreak ever. Is a poultry vaccine the answer?

BY: - May 14, 2023

WASHINGTON — The deadliest outbreak of bird flu in U.S. history is prompting growing concern in Congress, and Department of Agriculture researchers are awaiting the preliminary results of four trials of vaccines for poultry. Some lawmakers are warming to the idea of a vaccination campaign, long considered a fringe idea due to the cost and […]