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“Clean Power Plan” reversal doesn’t have immediate impact for your wallet

At the federal level, the Trump Administration is calling it an end to the “war on coal”.

For your budget, it doesn’t look like it will make a big difference, at least in the near future.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced Monday that he will issue a new set of rules Tuesday to reverse course on the “Clean Power Plan”- which was put forward under former President Obama to cut US carbon dioxide emissions. WOKV reached out to local utilities to see what the change means for them- and ultimately you.

Florida Power & Light Spokesman Stephen Heiman tells WOKV they have been in compliance with the intended guidelines of CPP since 2015. He says the change at the federal level will not change anything they have already put in place.

JEA says any plans relating to CPP were essentially on hold already, because the Supreme Court had blocked enforcement, so they were waiting for more information. 

“We have been, and continue to, follow industry/market economics and cost factors. If, and/or when, we get new regulations, we will work them into the plan and make sure we are in compliance,” says a statement from JEA Spokeswoman Gerri Boyce.

JEA and FPL are in the process of decommissioning the St. Johns River Power Park. During a previous interview with WOKV, JEA said federal environmental regulations were one of the factors considered in their decision.

Federal regulations have also been a guiding force influencing Clay Electric customers. Clay Electric is a “distribution electric cooperative”, meaning they purchase wholesale power to distribute as opposed to generating it themselves- so the federal regulations didn’t have any direct impact on what they do. In light of that, WOKV went to Seminole Electric Cooperative, which generates and transmits electric to Clay Electric and others.

“Our plan is a balanced approach that will let us generate power more competitively with natural gas, while managing the risk and unpredictability of future policy changes related to carbon emissions associated with coal,” says Seminole Electric Manager of Communications and Energy Policy Ryan Hart.

Hart says, for the last few years, Seminole has been focused on long term planning. While the uncertainty around federal regulations was a part of that conversation, he says the plan they put together was not a direct result of CPP. Despite that, the long term plan does include removing one of two coal-fired generating units at the Seminole Generating Station in about five years. At that site in Putnam County, they will be building a new gas-fired generating plant.

“That was going to happen regardless of what happened with the Clean Power Plan,” he says.

Seminole is also looking at other purchased power agreements and new solar resources.

“Our focus ultiamtely though our process had been to find the most cost effective resource managed solution,” Hart says.

Overall, he says the plan they put together lets them manage risk and uncertainty, to give the best return for you.

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The Latest News Headlines

  • Controversy continues to swirl around Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in the wake of decades-old sexual misconduct allegations leveled against him by a pair of women. >> Read more trending news What was expected to be a simple nomination process has become mired in allegations involving incidents alleged to have occurred while Kavanaugh was in high school or college. Deborah Ramirez told The New Yorker he made unwanted advances toward her during a party at a dormitory during the 1983-84 school year, while she and Kavanaugh were attending Yale University. Earlier this month, Christine Blasey Ford told The Washington Post that Kavanaugh drunkenly groped her and tried to take off her clothes at a party in the 1980s, when they were both teenagers. Update 8:45 p.m. EDT Sept. 25: Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein called the planned vote Friday morning on Brett Kavanaugh’s SCOTUS nomination “outrageous.” “For Republicans to schedule a Friday vote on Brett Kavanaugh today, two days before Dr. Blasey Ford has had a chance to tell her story, is outrageous,” the California Democrat said in a statement Tuesday. Feinstein accused the GOP of creating an unfair process. “First Republicans demanded Dr. Blasey Ford testify immediately. Now Republicans don’t even need to hear her before they move ahead with a vote, she said. Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, however, denied the accusations.  >> Related: SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh in first TV interview repeatedly denies sexual assault accusations “Still taking this 1 step at a time,” Grassley said in a post on social media. Grassley said that committee rules require three days notice before a vote.  “So we’re following regular order,” he said. He also said if the committee isn’t ready to vote after Ford’s and Kavanaugh’s testimony Thursday, then they’ll postpone it. Update 6:45 p.m. EDT Sept. 25: The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a vote for Friday morning on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. Ford is set to testify before the committee on Thursday about the assault she said she suffered at the hands of Kavanaugh at a party when the two were still in high school. There’s no word yet on whether Ramirez will get a chance to tell her story before the committee votes, but committee staffers interviewed Kavanaugh Tuesday about her allegations and he denied them again, according to news reports. Update 1:45 p.m. EDT Sept. 25: An attorney representing Ramirez said Tuesday that his client wants the FBI to investigate allegations against Kavanaugh. “We remain adamant that an FBI investigation, where all witnesses are questioned under threat of perjury, is the only way to get the truth,” attorney John Clune wrote on Twitter. Clune added that Ramirez stands by her account of drunken wrongdoing by Kavanaugh, as told to The New Yorker and published Sunday. Original report: President Donald Trump on Tuesday accused Democrats of using the allegations to play a “con game” with Kavanaugh. >> SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh in first TV interview repeatedly denies sexual assault accusations The president claimed that Deborah Ramirez, a woman who accused Kavanaugh of making unwanted sexual advances toward her during a college party in the 1980s, said, “She was totally inebriated, and she was all messed up, and she doesn’t know it was him, but it might have been.” “This is a con game being played by the Democrats,” Trump said. Ramirez is the second woman to go public with accusations against Kavanaugh. She told The New Yorker in a story published Sunday that he made unwanted advances toward her during a party at a dormitory during the 1983-84 school year, while she and Kavanaugh were attending Yale University. >> Second Kavanaugh accuser: Who is Deborah Ramirez? University professor Christine Blasey Ford is expected to provide testimony Thursday at a public Senate Judiciary Committee hearing about a separate alleged encounter she says she had with the Supreme Court nominee when they were both teenagers. Ford told The Washington Post earlier this month that Kavanaugh drunkenly groped her and tried to take off her clothes at a party in the 1980s. Kavanaugh has issued several denials of the allegations. >> Who is Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court? 'I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone,' Kavanaugh said in an interview that aired Monday on Fox News. 'I've always treated women with dignity and respect.' The Supreme Court nominee is also expected to testify at Thursday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is turning to the public for help identifying individuals they believe are connected to a recent home burglary and auto theft. According to JSO, officers were called to a home on Mt. Pleasant Road on September 9th, after a victim noticed his home had burglarized and his car was gone.  Police say the victim reported numerous items had been stolen during the burglary, including several firearms and credit cards. JSO says those cards did later show fraudulent activity.  JSO says they're working to identify the below pictured individuals, as they they were captured on video surveillance in and around the stolen vehicle, following the burglary and auto theft. Police stopped short of calling them suspects.  If you have any information about these crimes or these individuals, you're urged to call JSO at (904) 630-0500.
  • The Florida Highway Patrol says it's searching for a blue vehicle, possibly a heavy truck, after a fatal hit-and-run on US 301 on Tuesday. According to the crash report we've obtained, a pedestrian was fatally hit as he was on the shoulder of US 301 heading southbound, about two miles south of I-10. That man's name has not yet been released, as FHP is working to notify his family.  Troopers say after the collision, the driver responsible fled the scene.  If you have any information about this crash, which troopers believe happened in the morning hours of September 25th, you're urged to contact the Florida Highway Patrol or Crimestoppers.
  • A Florida charter school principal is packing heat. >> Watch the news report here The principal of San Jose Academy & Preparatory High School in Jacksonville is one of the first Duval County charter school employees to graduate from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office’s training academy for “safe school officers.” Principal and Executive Director Alan Hall now walks through school hallways with the weight of a heavy responsibility on his belt. If a school shooting happens there, it’s on him to respond. >> On ActionNewsJax.com: Discussion of armed officials, teachers inside schools “I’ve always worried, 'Oh my gosh, what would happen?' How am I going to put myself in those principals’ shoes that have actually had to live this? And I say, now, I at least have a chance to do something about it,” Hall said. >> Read more trending news  Before the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, many charter schools in our area hired private armed security guards. The new law requires all Florida schools to have either a sworn law enforcement officer or a safe school officer, which is a school employee who receives high-level firearms training. In August, ActionNewsJax was the first to report JSO would provide armed officers at all Jacksonville charter schools until the Sheriff’s Office could train school employees to take over. >> On ActionNewsJax.com: Charter schools scramble to comply with law requiring armed officers At San Jose Academy & Preparatory High School, Hall and another employee just completed their four-week JSO training. “I’ve always had the leadership style that I’m not going to ask any of my people to do something I’m not willing to do,” Hall said. Hall said the schools’ board approved a full-time safe school officer position. He plans to hire someone this school year. JSO said employees at Seacoast Charter Academy and Global Outreach Charter Academy have also completed JSO firearms training.
  • A judge sentenced comedian Bill Cosby to three to 10 years in state prison Tuesday, five months after a jury found him guilty of drugging and molesting a onetime friend in 2004. >> Read more trending news Judge Steven O’Neil handed down the sentence after ruling earlier Tuesday that Cosby, 81, is a “sexually violent predator.” The designation means he will have to undergo lifetime counseling and report regularly to authorities.  Update 6:10 p.m. EDT Sept. 25: Bill Cosby has left the Montgomery County Correctional Facility in Eagleville, Pennsylvania, according to local media reports, where he was taken directly after his sentencing Tuesday.  He has been moved to a state prison, the State Correctional Institution at Phoenix, CNN reported, where he’ll undergo testing and evaluations which will help authorities determine a permanent placement for him. Every inmate goes through the process, which could take months. Cosby was sentenced to as many as 10 years in prison on three counts of aggravated indecent assault against former friend and victim Andrea Constand. Dozens of women had accused Cosby of drugging and raping them dating back to the 1970s. Update 5:45 p.m. EDT Sept. 25: Bill Cosby is being moved to the state correctional facility after his sentencing Tuesday afternoon. Several news outlets have posted his jail booking photo on social media. Once he’s checked into prison, officials will issue him the following:  prison attire, one blanket, two sheets, one towel, one washcloth, one hygiene kit (containing a toothbrush, tooth paste, a bar of soap, shampoo, deodorant, a pen and a comb), according to WCAU-TV.  Update 4 p.m. EDT Sept. 25: Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said Tuesday that he was “pleased” with the “fair and significant sentence” handed down to Cosby on Tuesday. “He used his acting skills and endearing TV personality to win over his victims and then keep them silent about what he did to them,” Steele said. “Finally, Bill Cosby has been unmasked.” He praised Andrea Constand, who was drugged and molested by Cosby in 2004, for her steadfast resolve in seeing the actor prosecuted.  “We are all better off because she is in our lives,” Steele said. “She’s been through an ordeal these past 14 years and she’s been solid and steadfast. She’s been a rock. She’s done the right thing over, and over, and over again.” >> Bill Cosby sentenced to prison: Read Andrea Constand's impact statement Constand said in a victim-impact statement released Tuesday that life as she knew it “came to an abrupt halt” in January 2004, after she was drugged and sexually assaulted by Cosby. “After the assault, I wasn’t sure what had actually happened, but the pain spoke volumes,” she said. “The shame was overwhelming. Self-doubt and confusion kept me from turning to my family or friends as I normally did. I felt completely alone, unable to trust anyone, including myself.” She said that she is still grappling with fallout from the incident. Update 3:40 p.m. EDT Sept. 25: A spokeswoman for the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office told The Associated Press that Cosby will be held at the county jail for a few days before he’s taken too SCI Phoenix, a new state prison outside of Philadelphia. >> 5 things to know about Bill Cosby, his prison sentence, victim Andrea Constand “(There) staff will assess his physical, medical and security needs,” the AP reported. “Cosby could end up in a long-term medical care unit.” Update 3:30 p.m. EDT Sept. 25: Cosby’s publicist, Andrew Wyatt, called his client’s trial “the most racist and sexist trial in the history of the United States” after a judge sentenced him Tuesday to three to 10 years in state prison. Wyatt said jurors never heard of Cosby’s history as a pillar in the community during his trial. The comedian did not take the stand during the proceedings. “Mr. Cosby knows that God is watching over him. He knows that these are lies,” Wyatt said. “They persecuted Jesus and look what happened. (I’m) not saying Mr. Cosby is Jesus, but we know what this country has done to black men for centuries.” Wyatt said Cosby and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who has been accused by at least two women of sexual misconduct, are victims of a “sex war.” “What is going on in Washington today with Judge Kavanaugh is part of that sex war that Judge O'Neil along with his wife are a part of,” Wyatt said. Update 3 p.m. EDT Sept. 25: Cosby kept his gaze down after Tuesday’s sentencing hearing as he was escorted from the courtroom with his hands handcuffed in front of him. Attorney Gloria Allred, who represents 32 women who have accused Cosby of sexual assault, said the court sent an “important message” with Cosby’s sentence. 'This is a very important day,” she said. “Judgement day has come.' Update 2:20 p.m. EDT Sept. 25: O’Neil denied bail for Cosby after handing down his sentence Tuesday, according to WHYY. Cosby’s attorneys had argued for bail, the news station reported. “I’ve imposed sentencing at this stage,” O’Neil told Cosby’s attorneys, according to KYW-TV. “If you want to take it up with another court, you can.” >> Bill Cosby found guilty in sexual assault trial Update 2:10 p.m. EDT Sept. 25: O’Neil sentenced Cosby to three to 10 years imprisonment Tuesday. Cosby will serve out his sentence in state prison, WHYY reported. Prosecutors had asked for a sentence of five to 10 years in prison while the defense asked for Cosby to be sent home on house arrest.  Cosby was convicted in April of three counts of aggravated indecent assault. A jury determined that Cosby drugged and molested Andrea Constand, who then worked as the director of operations for Temple University’s women’s basketball team, in 2004 at his suburban Philadelphia home. >> Camille Cosby says ‘mob justice, not real justice’ led to Bill Cosby's sexual assault conviction O’Neil earlier deemed Cosby a “sexually violent predator.” The designation means he will have to register as a sex offender and undergo counsel for the rest of his life. Cosby’s conviction was the first of a celebrity accused of sexual misconduct in the #MeToo era. Update 12:35 p.m. EDT Sept 25: O’Neil told people gathered in court Tuesday that he will announce Cosby’s sentence at 1:30 p.m., The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Update 12:15 p.m. EDT Sept. 25: Andrea Constand said in a victim-impact statement released Tuesday that life as she knew  it “came to an abrupt halt” in January 2004, after she was drugged and sexually assaulted by Cosby. Constand was working as director of operations for Temple University’s women’s basketball team after a professional stint with a team in Italy when the assault happened. She said the incident made her feel powerless and left her with years of unrelenting pain, stress and anxiety. >> Temple University rescinds Bill Cosby's honorary degree after sexual assault conviction “When the sexual assaulted happened, I was a young woman brimming with confidence and looking forward to a future bright with possibilities,” she wrote. “Now, almost 15 years later, I’m a middle-aged woman who’s been stuck in a holding pattern for most of her adult life, unable to heal fully or to move forward.” Cosby was found guilty in April of drugging and molesting Constand in 2004. The guilty verdict came less than a year after another jury deadlocked on the same charges.  Cosby’s conviction marked the first of a celebrity in the #MeToo era. A judge is expected to hand down the comedian’s sentence Tuesday. Update 11:45 a.m. EDT Sept. 25: A judge ruled Tuesday that Cosby is a “sexually violent predator,” meaning that he will have to undergo lifetime counseling and report regularly to authorities, according to The Associated Press. The designation was made Tuesday by Judge Steven O’Neill on the second day of a two-day sentencing hearing for Cosby. Prosecutors are asking that the 81-year-old get five to 10 years in prison for drugging and molesting Andrea Constand in 2004. Cosby’s attorneys have asked for house arrest. Update 8:55 a.m. EDT Sept. 25: Cosby arrived at the courthouse Tuesday morning to start the second day of his sentencing hearing on charges of aggravated indecent assault. Cosby’s spokesman, Andrew Wyatt, told The Associated Press that the 81-year-old comedian doesn’t plan to make a statement in court. Cosby did not testify at either of his trials. >> ‘The Cosby Show’ reruns are gone from Bounce TV Prosecutors are asking for a sentence of five to 10 years in prison. His attorney wants the judge to send Cosby home on house arrest, saying he’s too old and frail for prison. Update 5:30 p.m. EDT Sept. 24: Comedian Bill Cosby could see less than 4 years in jail after the judge Monday merged the three counts of aggravated indecent assault Cosby was convicted of into one for sentencing purposes because the counts were all connected to one event, according to news outlets. Cosby may not even see any jail time based on criminal guidelines in Pennsylvania and the fact that he has no previous record. He was facing as much as 30 years behind bars. Also during proceedings Monday, victim Andrea Constand and members of her family delivered impact statements. >> Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences expels Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski Constand said she just wants “justice” in the case, according to CNN. 'I have testified, I have given you my victim impact statement. You heard me, the jury heard me and Mr. Cosby heard me. All I'm asking for is justice as the court sees fit,' Constand said in court. Her mother, father and older sister also delivered impact statements. The defense has not called any witnesses, yet, including Bill Cosby, but could tomorrow.  Original report: Cosby, 81, could spend the rest of his life behind bars. He is facing as many as 30 years in prison, although state guidelines for someone like Cosby, who does not have any prior convictions, call for between one and four years in prison. The sentencing hearing will begin with testimony about Cosby's sex offender evaluation and whether he should be deemed a sexually violent predator. That would make him subject to lifetime counseling and community notification. A jury found Cosby guilty in April 2018 of drugging and molesting onetime friend Andrea Constand in 2004. Constand was in court Monday for Cosby’s sentencing hearing. Cosby was convicted on three counts of aggravated indecent assault, making his the first conviction of a celebrity accused of sexual misconduct in the #MeToo era. The guilty verdict came less than a year after another jury deadlocked on the same charges.  Jurors deliberated for more than 52 hours over six days in June 2017, but they couldn’t reach a unanimous decision on whether Cosby drugged and molested Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home, The Associated Press reported. Cosby maintained that he and Constand shared a consensual sexual encounter. Cosby's attorney said Constand was a 'con artist' who leveled false accusations against the comedian so that she could sue him. Dozens of women have made high-profile accusations that Cosby had drugged and assaulted them, but Constand’s case was the only one to result in criminal charges against Cosby.  The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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