A publication of Appalachian Voices


A publication of Appalachian Voices

A bimonthly digest of regional energy news



Kentuckians Petition State to Block Surface Mining Near Two Towns

Filers of the petition argue that future surface coal mining near Benham and Lynch, Ky., would harm residents' health and enjoyment of the area, as well as the towns' historic character and attempts to attract tourism.


Funding for Black Lung Benefits Halved

A tax on coal companies funding benefits for former miners with black lung disease was halved at the first of the year.


EPA Questions Benefits of Mercury Regulations

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is changing the way it calculates the benefits of reducing mercury and air pollution emissions from coal-fired power plants, which advocates fear could lead to looser pollution limits in the future.


Petrochemical Plants Advance

Ohio issued an air permit for a petrochemical plant in Belmont County as construction continues on Royal Dutch Shell's ethane cracker in western Pennsylvania.


Coal-friendly Wheeler Nominated to Lead EPA

President Trump nominated former coal lobbyist and current Acting U.S. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to lead the agency in January.


Push to Halt Rising Energy Fees in Knoxville

The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is calling on the Knoxville Utilities Board to stop raising fixed fees for ratepayers.


North Carolina Solar Rebates in High Demand

All of Duke Energy's North Carolina residential solar rebates, which reduce the cost of panel installation by up to 30 percent, were claimed in less than a day


Groups File Lawsuit Against Mountaintop Removal Coal Mine in West Virginia

Environmental groups claim in a federal lawsuit that Republic Energy is illegally operating a strip mine on Coal River Mountain by using a state permit that expired in 2011.


N.C. Lowers Risk Rating of Coal Ash Pits

Duke Energy may now be able to cap six toxic coal ash dumps in North Carolina in place instead of transporting the material to lined landfills after state regulators classified the dumps as "low risk."


Kinder Morgan Drops Planned Gas Liquids Pipeline, Proposes Natural Gas

The oil and gas pipeline company nixed plans to transport hazardous natural gas liquids hundreds of miles through a repurposed 75-year-old pipe and instead is seeking permission to reverse the flow for natural gas.


Virginia Governor Alters Air Board Before Crucial Vote

The air board members Gov. Northam removed in mid-November had spoken critically of a compressor station needed for Dominion Energy's Atlantic Coast Pipeline project. A vote is now delayed pending a new public comment period.


Mountain Valley Pipeline Southgate Files for Federal Approval

The 73-mile expansion of the controversial fracked-gas Mountain Valley Pipeline into North Carolina has drawn criticism from residents and regulators alike.


Hurricane Highlights Coal Ash Risks

September's Hurricane Florence breached two of Duke Energy's coal ash and wastewater impoundments.


States Seek Mine-Related Debts from WV Governor

Virginia and Kentucky regulators are seeking to hold West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice accountable for his companies' failure to meet mine land reclamation deadlines.


EPA Proposes Loosening Methane Emission Rules

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposal would undermine Obama-era regulations aimed at preventing methane leaks.