A publication of Appalachian Voices


A publication of Appalachian Voices

A bimonthly digest of regional energy news



Neighbors of Mountaintop Removal Testify Before Congress

In April, people living near coal strip mines testified before a U.S. House subcommittee about how mountaintop removal coal mining has affected their lives and communities.


Bill Supported by Duke Energy Could Lead to Rate Hikes

Duke Energy is backing a North Carolina bill that could allow the monopoly utility to raise rates with reduced oversight – and an April report shows that Duke targeted its campaign contributions to key legislators involved with the bill.


Justice Coal Companies and Federal Agencies Enter Legal Battles

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice's family and their companies are involved in new lawsuits with federal mine safety and reclamation authorities.


Virginia Budget Excludes Participation in Carbon Cap and Trade Program

Gov. Ralph Northam signed a bill impeding Virginia's ability to take part in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative despite a state board's April vote to join it.


Court Orders EPA to Revisit Wastewater Rule

A federal court ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to review parts of a 2015 rule governing wastewater from power plants after environmental groups argued that it was not sufficient.


Miners Pressure Congress for Pension Fix

Dozens of retired coal miners came to the capitol and called on Washington lawmakers to pass legislation to preserve pensions for tens of thousands of retired and working miners.


Energy News Bites

The EPA did not update oil & gas waste rules despite protest, and is expected to change air pollution calculations to decrease health damage estimates. South Carolina passed an electric co-op transparency bill; West Virginia issued a pipeline permit without public input; and Murray Energy lost a labor rights appeal.


TVA Releases Long-term Energy Plan, Announces Retirement of Two Coal Power Plants

The Tennessee Valley Authority plans to add between four and nine gigawatts of solar power over the next 20 years, and voted to close two old coal-fired power plants in February.


Friends of Perry State Forest Fight Mine Permit

The proposed 545-acre strip mine in Ohio would encompass 12 percent of the state forest and would be managed by the former CEO of a coal company that covered up water quality violations.


Westmoreland Coal Allowed to Sever Worker Agreements

In February, a federal judge allowed Westmoreland Coal Company to terminate benefits for current and retired coal miners.


Kentucky Holds Hearing on 10,000-acre Mining Ban

Residents of Harlan County, Ky., are seeking to ban surface mining on 10,000 acres of land near the towns of Benham and Lynch.


Groups Urge Virginia Mining Agency to Strengthen Regulations

Environmental groups are calling on Virginia regulators to strengthen coal mining rules by making it easier for citizens who file complaints to be involved in site inspections, strengthening bonding requirements and more.


West Virginia Enacts Coal Tax Cut

Gov. Jim Justice signed bills dropping a tax on coal from 5 to 3 percent over the next three years and granting a 35 percent tax credit to coal companies buying new equipment for new or expanded mining operations.


Fracking Company to Pay Millions for WV Clean Water Act Violations

Fracking company Antero Resources was ordered to pay $3.15 million for state and federal water pollution violations and to undertake an estimated $8 million cleanup.


NC Governor Proposes Wind Energy Study

Gov. Roy Cooper's proposed budget for 2019 to 2021 includes $300,000 for a study to determine the state's feasibility for offshore wind energy.