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Audubon Florida
Audubon Florida Climate and Energy News Roundup
This week we share news about a Florida House plan for sea-level rise, solar energy, an Electric Vehicle coalition, icy temperatures’ impact on gas prices, and more.
Tree Swallows. Photo by Marlin Greene/APA
Six US Utilities Launch Electric Highway Coalition
From Energy Digital Magazine

“Six major US utilities have announced a plan to ensure EV drivers have access to a seamless network of charging stations connecting major highways in the South, Midwest, Gulf and Central Plains regions. The Electric Highway Coalition – comprising Duke Energy, American Electric Power, Dominion Energy, Entergy Corporation, Southern Co., and the Tennessee Valley Authority – will enable EV drivers seamless travel across a broad portion of the country through a network of DC fast chargers.”
Texas and Florida had Large Small-scale Solar Capacity Increases in 2020
From U.S. Energy Information Administration

“As of December 2020, the states with the most small-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity were California (10.6 gigawatts (GW)), New Jersey (1.9 GW), and Massachusetts (1.8 GW)... Although Texas and Florida have less total small-scale solar capacity than states such as California or New Jersey, capacity has grown rapidly in these states in recent years. In 2020, Texas added 422 megawatts (MW) of small-scale solar, and Florida added 282 MW. State incentives, strong solar resources, and policy changes are largely driving these gains.”
Climate Change Cues Tree Swallows to Nest Earlier in Spring
From Yale Climate Connections

“Spring is coming. And soon, tree swallows will start building nests. But as the climate changes, the birds are nesting earlier in the spring. “It’s getting warmer overall. They’re thinking, OK, it’s a good time to breed, to lay my eggs,” says Lily Twining of the Max Planck Institute for Animal Behavior in Germany. She says that despite recent warming, late-season cold snaps remain common. Those cold snaps can harm newborn chicks. Hatchlings cannot regulate their body temperature, so they are vulnerable to hypothermia. And the insects they eat stop flying in cold weather, potentially leaving the chicks to starve.”
House Speaker Unveils Plan To Deal With Florida's Rising Seas, Flooding
From WCJT News

“Florida lawmakers Friday unveiled a series of bills they say would protect homeowners and businesses from rising seas and flooding brought on by climate change. The proposals would give tax breaks to homeowners who elevate their homes because of flooding. And around $100 million would be provided to local governments that plan to combat rising seas.”
Icy Temperatures Cause Florida Gas Prices to Surge, Highest Since July 2019
From Tallahassee Reports

“Florida gas prices continue to skyrocket thanks to arctic weather causing chaos on the Gulf Coast refinery region. The average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline rose by 15 cents, putting a $2.61 per gallon price tag at the pump for Florida drivers. The jump at the pump is the highest since July of 2019, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA).”
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