A publication of Appalachian Voices


A publication of Appalachian Voices

A bimonthly digest of regional energy news



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.


States Request Decision on Power Plant Bailout Plan

Kentucky and five other states sent letters to federal authorities on the Trump administration's plans to bail out failing coal and nuclear plants. And an investigation into a similar Ohio law found possible conflicts of interest.


Electric Utility News From Around the Region

News updates concerning the Tennessee Valley Authority, Duke Energy, Old Dominion Power, Dominion Energy, and local power companies.


Coal Company Seeks Mine Permit in Tennessee Wildlife Area

Federal regulators have reopened the permit process for a proposed 422-acre mine in Campbell County, Tenn., which was met with objections from environmental groups.


Trump Administration Rolls Back More Environmental Protections

President Donald Trump's administration has made numerous cuts to environmental protections including those for methane emissions, protected waters, light bulb standards, and coal ash storage.


North Carolina and Virginia Announce Clean Energy Goals

The governors of North Carolina and Virginia both announced clean energy goals that include full carbon neutrality in the power generation sector by 2050