Thursday, February 16, 2017

Energy, Transportation & Missouri News

Buyer of TVA Nuclear Plant Plans to Run It

We previously posted that the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) was auctioning an unfinished nuclear power plant near Hollywood, Alabama. The buyer, Nuclear Development LLC, announced its intention to complete the plant and put it into operation.

Before this can be done, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission must transfer the operating license from TVA to Nuclear Development. In addition, Nuclear Development must complete financing arrangements.

Nuclear Development bid $111 million for the plant. In addition to two nuclear reactors and supporting facilities, the property includes 1,600 acres of land.

Canada, Finland Plan to Phase Out Coal

Canadian officials announced plans to phase out coal-powered electric generation by 2030. They hope the country will be 90 percent powered by sustainable sources by that time.

Findland also proposes to phase out coal by 2030. The country plans to be carbon-neutral by 2050.

Bill Would Make Sale of Municipal Utilities Easier

A bill filed in the Missouri General Assembly (HB 247), would lower the threshold of voter approval needed for a municipality to sell a utility. If passed, it would lower the requirement from a five-seventh majority to a simple majority. The Missouri House Local Government Committee has taken up the bill.

Bill Would Transfer Some Missouri Roads from State to Counties

Two bills in the Missouri Senate (SB 38 and SJR 3), propose pathway for the transfer of responsibility for certain road, letter routes, from the state to counties. About two-thirds of the current state funds for maintaining these roads will be distributed to counties, the remainder remaining with the state for other transportation needs.

County officials are opposed to the measure, saying it will shift much of the state’s burden for road maintenance to even more cash-strapped counties. These routes were maintained by counties until 1952, when the state took them over as part of a road improvement program.

A similar proposal failed to pass in the 2016 session. SJR 3 also includes a provision for raising fuel taxes. You can find out more about these bills here.

Noisy Electric Cars

New rules will require electric cars traveling slower than 19 miles per hour to produce a sound. This is to prevent accidents involving pedestrians who can’t hear the very quiet electric motors operating in these vehicles. The National Transportation Safety Administration anticipates this measure will prevent 2,400 injuries to pedestrians annually. New electric and hybrid cars must comply with the rule by September 2019.

1 comment: