TVA restores power to 93% of storm victims
The Tennessee Valley Authority and its local power companies said Wednesday they have restored electricity service to nearly 93% of the 254,000 homes and businesses that lost power from weekend storms in western Kentucky and Tennessee.
As of noon on Wednesday, TVA said about 19,000 remain without power in the region.
TVA crews remain focused on restoring power to the three remaining customer connection points still without service. Restoration efforts near Lexington, Tennessee are complicated by the need to rebuild complex transmission structures that support multiple high-voltage lines.
Near Mayfield, Kentucky, the power infrastructure for both Mayfield Electric and Water Systems and TVA was extensively damaged by the storms, which were the most destructive to impact the region since the April 2011 tornado outbreak. Repairs to both systems must be completed before power can flow reliably to residents. Complete restoration will likely take some time.
More than 160 TVA line workers, additional contractor crews and TVA Aviation Services helicopter crews remain in the field, working with local power company personnel.
New York City may bar natural gas use
New York City is poised to bar most new buildings from using natural gas in six years, after lawmakers voted Wednesday to make the nation’s most populous city a showcase for a climate-change-fighting policy that has been both embraced and blocked elsewhere.
If Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio signs the measure, as expected, most construction projects submitted for approval after 2027 would have to use something other than gas or oil — such as electricity — for heating, hot water and cooking. Some smaller buildings would have to comply as early as 2024. Hospitals, commercial kitchens and some other facilities would be exempt.
Supporters see the proposal as a substantial and necessary move to combat global warming. Heating, cooling and powering buildings accounts for nearly 70% of emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases.
Although new buildings’ stoves and furnaces would use electricity generated partly from burning natural gas and other fossil fuels, backers say the change still would keep millions of tons of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere over time and would boost momentum ahead of a statewide requirement to use 70% renewable energy by 2030, up from about 30% now.
“We can’t keep expanding gas if we have any prayer of hitting the state’s climate goals,” said Alex Beauchamp of Food & Water Watch, an environmental group.
Chanel picks Leena Nair as chief executive
The luxury fashion house Chanel has chosen Leena Nair, an industry outsider from India and longtime executive at Unilever, to be its new CEO.
Analysts say her hiring signals how the brand is accounting for changing consumer awareness of the industry’s environmental impact and the importance of diverse hires. Nair tweeted that she was “humbled and honored” to be appointed to the role at the “iconic and admired company.”
The news made a huge splash Wednesday in India, Nair’s birthplace, where she received scores of congratulations and compliments, one calling her a “serial glass-ceiling breaker.” Nair is due to step into her new role in January.
India incentive plan targets semiconductors
India has announced a $10.2 billion incentive plan in an attempt to attract global chipmakers and transform the country into a semiconductor production hub.
The plan announced Wednesday by government officials comes amid a global semiconductor shortage which has delayed delivery of consumer goods including cars. The supply disruption has been caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
India wants to woo companies that could shift their manufacturing bases from China amid trade disputes between United States and China. India’s government will extend financial support of up to 50% of a project’s cost to eligible display and semiconductor fabricators.
— Compiled by Dave Flessner