A publication of Appalachian Voices


A publication of Appalachian Voices

A bimonthly digest of regional energy news



VA Initiates Bond Forfeiture on Justice-Owned Mines

Virginia regulators initiated bond forfeiture at two coal mines owned by the family of West Virginia Governor Jim Justice. The regulators cited failure to pay penalties and chronic environmental and public safety violations.


Endangered Species Rulings Could Impact Energy Projects

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed the protection of 445 stream miles in Central Appalachia in January that serves as habitat for two at-risk aquatic species.


Trump Proposes Major Rollback of Key Environmental Law

The president's planned changes to the National Environmental Policy Act include eliminating a requirement for agencies to review the cumulative impacts of certain infrastructure projects on climate change.


Virginia Legislature Passes Clean Economy Act

The Clean Economy Act would require Virginia to transition to 100 percent renewable energy and emit no carbon from the power sector by 2050.


Permit for Perry State Forest Mine in Ohio Cancelled

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency cancelled a key water quality permit for a proposed coal mine in Perry State Forest in January.


Appalachian Towns Show Support for Abandoned Mine Cleanup

Several communities have passed resolutions in support of congressional reauthorization of the Abandoned Mine Land program, and more are expected to consider the proposal.


East TN Coal Ash Concerns Continue

The Tennessee Valley Authority found traces of toxic coal ash in a mysterious dust coating homes and cars in Anderson County, Tenn. The monopoly utility is considering opening a coal ash landfill in Claxton, Tenn., despite local pushback.


Kentucky Agency and Conservationists Fight Proposed Gas Pipeline

The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet and the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest are fighting a proposed Louisville Gas & Electric natural gas pipeline that would cut through the protected woodland.


Rate Hike Provision Backed by Duke Energy Fails to Pass NC Legislature

The North Carolina General Assembly removed a controversial provision from a ratemaking bill that would have allowed Duke Energy to enact multi-year rate hikes.


Bankruptcies Shake Coal Industry

Murray Energy filed for bankruptcy in October, the latest of eight coal bankruptcies in 2019. Legal disputes regarding the summer Blackjewel bankruptcy continue.


EPA Proposes Weakening Rules for Coal Ash and Related Pollutants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to roll back pollution limits for coal-fired power plants pending public comment.


Bills Support Miners’ Pensions, Black Lung Benefits

A Senate bill would help fund miners' pensions, including those affected by recent bankruptcies. In the House, a bill would re-instate a historic tax on coal companies to fund healthcare for miners with black lung disease.


Feds Propose Transporting Liquified Natural Gas on Rails

Federal regulators proposed a rule in October that would allow the transportation of liquefied natural gas by rail without any new safety regulations or testing.


New Federal Pipeline Safety Rules Attract Criticism

Federal regulators announced new pipeline safety rules in September, but pipeline opponents argue the updated rules are not strong enough.


West Virginia Fossil Fuel Severance Tax Impacts State Budget

Lower-than-expected income from fossil fuel severance taxes is putting the West Virginia state budget in a bind. Some advocate for raising the severance tax rate on natural gas.