A publication of Appalachian Voices


A publication of Appalachian Voices

Elizabeth E. Payne

A native of Boone, N.C., Lee earned degrees in archaeology and ancient history at Brown University and Boston University, and received a Ph.D. in Near Eastern languages and civilizations from Yale University. She served as our AmeriCorps Communications associate from 2015-16, and as our Communications Associate from 2016-2017.

Reauthorization of Mine Lands Program Advances

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would renew funding for restoring abandoned coal mine sites — but it would also limit a wide swath of environmental protections.

Black Lung Disease Surges as Support for Miners Dwindles

A recent study shows that black lung disease in Appalachian coal miners is at a 25-year high — but federal taxes on coal companies that help compensate affected miners are set to expire next year.

EPA Rolls Back Coal Ash Protections

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency established new rules for the disposal and storage of toxic coal ash, replacing environmental safeguards put forth by the Obama Administration.

Solar Advocates Lose N.C. Court Case

In May, the North Carolina Supreme Court upheld a Duke Energy-backed ruling that nonprofit group NC WARN violated the law by installing solar panels on and selling power to a Greensboro church.

Anti-Solar Bill Stalls in Kentucky Legislature

The Kentucky legislature declined to pass a bill that would have allowed the state and potentially utilities to set new rate structures that could have threatened the expansion of residential solar.

TVA Proposes Fixed Cost Increases

The Tennessee Valley Authority has proposed a revised rate structure that would increase fixed costs to consumers and potentially make it more difficult to install residential rooftop solar panels.

EPA Proposes Major Changes to Federal Coal Ash Rule

The Environmental Protection Agency proposed rolling back federal regulations on how utilities store coal ash, a toxic byproduct from coal-fired power plants.

Duke Energy Raises Electricity Rates

The North Carolina Utilities Commission allowed Duke Energy subsidiary Duke Energy Progress to raise its customers’ utility bills in part to pay for state-mandated coal ash cleanup.

Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines Struggle to Get Underway

While preliminary tree felling has been approved for the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines, the projects are still being met with staunch resistance from activists and lawmakers alike.

Deal Reached Over Seeping Coal Ash Ponds in NC

Duke Energy agreed to pay for multiple leakages from coal ash impoundments at three of its power plants.