Murray Energy rebuked for ‘egregious’ mine safety violations

NOTE TO READERS: U.S. Energy News is taking a break for Thanksgiving. We will return on Monday, November 26. COAL: Federal labor officials rebuke Murray Energy for “extraordinary and egregious violations” of mine safety laws in a case involving intimidation of workers who sought to report safety concerns. (S&P Global)

ALSO:
• The Tennessee Valley Authority seeks public input on the socioeconomic and environmental impacts of closing two coal plants. (Solar Industry)
• Twenty-four of 26 Duke Energy coal ash facilities in North Carolina violate federal rules for disposal of the toxic byproduct.

Pipeline politics put Southeast governors under spotlight

PIPELINES: Facing criticism for approving the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration questions the need for a Mountain Valley Pipeline extension in the state. (Energy News Network)

ALSO: Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam replaces two air pollution board members and a water board member after they questioned permits for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. (Richmond Times-Dispatch, Virginia Mercury)

***SPONSORED LINK: “We are dangerously behind in the existential race to deal with climate change. Designing Climate Solutions offers focused, tested strategies for policymakers serious about making a difference.” –Former U.S. Secretary of State and Senator John Kerry. Use “CLIMATE” for 25% discount.***

OFFSHORE DRILLING:
• The oil and gas industry renews its push for offshore drilling soon after Florida voters pass an amendment to ban it.

Feds rarely seek fines for pipeline fires, explosions

PIPELINES: Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam replaces two air pollution control board members after they raised concerns and delayed a vote on an Atlantic Coast Pipeline compressor station in the historic black community of Union Hill. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

ALSO:
• Since 2010, interstate pipelines have exploded or caught fire 137 times and in 90 percent of cases, federal regulators sought no fine. (E&E News)
• Protesters have quietly been tree-sitting in Virginia in protest of the Mountain Valley Pipeline since September. (Roanoke Times)

***SPONSORED LINK: “Designing Climate Solutions provides a valuable toolkit for policymakers committed to timely mitigation of climate change…A small portfolio of proven policies, applied in a small number of countries, can yield enormous progress.” –Former DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz. Use “CLIMATE” for 25% discount.***

NATURAL GAS:
• A series of natural gas explosions outside Boston in September could have been caused, at least in part, by Columbia Gas not hiring a professional engineer when planning to replace old cast-iron gas mains in the area, according an urgent safety report issued by federal investigators.

Can wind compete without tax credits?

WIND: Wind energy proponents say the industry is “ready to compete in a subsidy-free world” but some analysts still anticipate a slowdown. (Bloomberg)

ALSO: A lawsuit over Ohio’s wind setbacks centers on whether various stakeholders had a chance to be heard before stricter terms were adopted in a last-minute budget bill amendment in 2014. (Energy News Network)

***SPONSORED LINK: “Designing Climate Solutions provides a valuable toolkit for policymakers committed to timely mitigation of climate change…A small portfolio of proven policies, applied in a small number of countries, can yield enormous progress.” –Former DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz. Use “CLIMATE” for 25% discount.***

RENEWABLES:
• Renewable energy is surging, but not fast enough to stop dangerous climate change, according to a pair of recent reports. (Scientific American)
• Democratic lawmakers in Nevada plan to introduce legislation to increase the state’s renewable energy standards rather than waiting until voters decide on a constitutional amendment in 2020.

EPA considers new regulation to reduce air pollution

TRANSPORTATION: The Trump administration considers tougher nitrogen oxide emissions standards for heavy-duty trucks, which would be its first new regulation intended to reduce air pollution. (The Hill)

EPA: A senior EPA administrator responsible for nine Southeast states is indicted by an Alabama grand jury on charges he conspired to violate state ethics rules in connection with a bribery scandal. (Mother Jones)

***SPONSORED LINK: “Designing Climate Solutions provides a valuable toolkit for policymakers committed to timely mitigation of climate change…A small portfolio of proven policies, applied in a small number of countries, can yield enormous progress.” –Former DOE Secretary Ernest Moniz. Use “CLIMATE” for 25% discount.***

RENEWABLES:
• Solar, wind and storage have almost eliminated natural gas among proposed new generation projects in California. (Greentech Media)
• Major tech companies’ increasing electricity needs at data centers across the U.S. are driving demand for renewable energy.