U.S. House passes bill that would block offshore drilling

OFFSHORE DRILLING:
• A House spending bill passed last week would block offshore drilling and seismic testing along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts through 2020. (The Hill)
• Dozens of Republicans from coastal states including Florida and the Carolinas voted with Democrats in support of the offshore drilling ban. (Newsweek)
• If the bill passes in the Senate, wildlife advocates say it would be good news for Georgia’s state marine mammal, the endangered right whale. (Saporta Report)

PIPELINES:
• Mountain Valley Pipeline opponents ask federal regulators to rescind West Virginia’s approval of the project after repeated requests to state regulators. (Roanoke Times)
• Oil and gas industry groups pressure regulators to back off proposed regulations on pipeline safety.

Mine regulators resist calls for change despite black lung disease epidemic

COAL: Coal mine safety regulators say existing safety regulations are sufficient to protect miners from toxic black lung disease, despite calls to make them more stringent. (NPR)

ALSO: The joint venture between Peabody Energy and Arch Coal will create the country’s biggest coal company, but may not save coal. (E&E News, subscription)

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COAL ASH: The new Tennessee Valley Authority head assures a Tennessee community that the company is taking steps to get rid of coal ash as it prepares to close a power plant.

Tennessee has a new solar-powered airport

Correction: Dominion Energy is considering a Virginia county as a location for a $2 billion hydroelectric pumped storage facility. An item in Wednesday’s digest misidentified the utility involved in the project. SOLAR: A debate over the Atlantic Coast Pipeline divided Union Hill, Virginia. Now, a nonprofit hopes solar can help bring the community back together. (Energy News Network)

ALSO:
• A solar farm is completed at the Chattanooga, Tennessee, airport, making it the nation’s first airport to produce enough power for its daily power needs.

Democrats challenge plan to fund Appalachia natural gas hub

Correction: Dominion Energy is considering a Virginia county as a location for a $2 billion hydroelectric pumped storage facility. A previous version of this digest misidentified the utility involved in the project. OIL & GAS: House Democrats challenge an Energy Department plan to use a $1.9 billion loan guarantee for a natural gas storage and plastics hub in Appalachia instead of clean energy projects. (InsideClimate News)

ALSO: Texas oil and gas regulators unanimously elect a new chairman. (WorldOil)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join over 400 attendees and 48 exhibitors at Solar Power Texas, June 24-25 in Austin.

Mountain Valley Pipeline: More delays, costs with new route plans

PIPELINES: Mountain Valley Pipeline developers propose a land swap with the Interior Department in order to cross the Appalachian Trail, but it would delay the project until mid-2020 and increase costs to up to $5 billion. (Roanoke Times)

OVERSIGHT:
• North Carolina regulators will not hold additional hearings on Duke Energy’s long-range power generation strategy despite calls to do so from clean energy groups and lawmakers. (Energy News Network)
• Mississippi utility regulators create a formal long-term energy planning process for the electric companies they regulate, which could boost renewables, storage and energy efficiency. (E&E News)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join over 400 attendees and 48 exhibitors at Solar Power Texas, June 24-25 in Austin. The conference provides energy professionals the opportunity to gain exclusive updates from local policy drivers and learn from leading businesses in the region.