Energy Report

A bimonthly digest of regional energy news

Federal Agency Approves Dam Projects Over Objections

December 5, 2017 The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued licenses for two West Virginia hydropower projects in September despite concerns from the state's Department of Environmental Protection.

Construction Halted on Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline

December 5, 2017 Environmental groups and an order of nuns are challenging the controversial pipeline in Pennsylvania.

Federal Grant Seeks to Extract Elements from Coal Byproducts

December 5, 2017 University researchers were awarded $6 million to expand a project focused on extracting rare earth elements from coal byproducts.

Opposition to Proposed Tennessee Mountaintop Removal Mine

October 11, 2017 Kopper Glo Mining is seeking a second permit to release pollution from its nearly 1,500-acre proposed Claiborne County, Tenn., strip mine into public waterways. Attendees at a public hearing voiced a number of concerns.

Pipelines Face Continued Challenges

October 11, 2017 Citizen and environmental groups continue to challenge the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline and Mountain Valley Pipeline as the companies behind the pipelines push for rushed decisions.

Regional Coal Ash News: Toxic Cleanup, Legal Woes and EPA Changes

October 11, 2017 Over two dozen workers who helped clean up the December 2008 TVA coal ash disaster have died, and surviving workers and family members are suing. Duke Energy faces legal trouble for withholding dam safety information. The EPA is being challenged for retracting a 30-day public comment extension on coal ash guidelines.

Court Prevents County From Banning Fracking Wastewater

October 11, 2017 A federal appeals court upheld a lower court's decision to block Fayette County, W.Va., from banning the disposal of fracking waste in the county on the grounds that fracking waste disposal is governed by the state.

White House Halts Review of Mountaintop Removal Health Impacts

October 11, 2017 In August, the U.S. Dept. of the Interior ordered the National Academy of Sciences to halt a two-year review of the human health impacts of mountaintop removal coal mining. The review's budget was less than 1 percent of the department's current grant spending.

Duke Energy Seeks Another Rate Hike for North Carolina Customers

October 11, 2017 Duke Energy subsidiary Duke Energy Carolinas requested to raise the rates of its residential customers by 16.7 percent. The request would shift onto customers the cost of cleaning up millions of tons of toxic coal ash.

TVA Looks for More Exemptions From National Envionmental Policy Act

October 11, 2017 The Tennessee Valley Authority is looking to increase the number of categorical exclusions to the National Environmental Policy Act, which do not require environmental studies or public involvement for a project to move forward.

Pattern of Violations at Alpha’s Middle Ridge Mine

October 11, 2017 West Virginia ordered a subsidiary of Alpha Natural Resources to "show cause" for why it should be allowed to continue operating Middle Ridge Mine after incurring seven violations since July 2016.

Trump Administration Delays Water Safety Rule

October 11, 2017 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced in September that it would postpone portions of a 2015 rule that established limits on wastewater pollution from coal-fired power plants.

FirstEnergy and Murray Energy Face Bankruptcy

October 11, 2017 Murray Energy could go bankrupt by the end of 2017 if the federal government does not intervene to save FirstEnergy, one of Murray's main customers, from bankruptcy.

Pennsylvania Protects Stream

October 11, 2017 The Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board recently rejected a permit for underground longwall mining at the Polen Run stream.

Duke Energy Delays Asheville Plant

October 11, 2017 Duke Energy announced the postponement of a natural gas-fired power plant near Asheville, N.C., from 2023 to 2027.