Southeast Energy News

Abandoned coal mines put West Virginia fund at risk

COAL: A judge won’t dismiss a lawsuit questioning the financial health of West Virginia’s coal mine reclamation fund, which is at risk of being overwhelmed by the abandonment of more than 100 mines last spring. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

ALSO:
• A new report from a federal watchdog says workplace safety regulators aren’t doing enough to protect coal miners from silica dust, a major factor in clusters of advanced black lung disease in the Ohio River Valley. (Ohio Valley ReSource)
• The president of the United Mine Workers of America discusses the future of coal under the Biden administration. (West Virginia MetroNews)

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COAL ASH: The Tennessee Valley Authority considers two landfills as the destination for 3.5 million cubic yards of coal ash to be removed from a retired plant in Memphis. (Associated Press)

SOLAR:
• A Louisiana parish makes zoning changes as the first step to allow construction of solar farms. (New Orleans Advocate)
• A 162 MW solar farm near Houston begins operation and will supply power to Starbucks. (Renewables Now)

PIPELINES:
• A federal court temporarily blocks Mountain Valley Pipeline from crossing rivers and streams while it considers arguments from environmental groups. (West Virginia Public Broadcasting)
• Protesters rally around three western Virginia tree sitters blocking the Mountain Valley Pipeline as a judge’s deadline for them to leave passed on Monday. (WVTF)

BIOMASS:
• North Carolina regulators seek public input on a biogas facility proposed by Dominion Energy and Smithfield Foods. (WNCT9)
• Brightmark breaks ground on a Florida biogas project in conjunction with two dairy farms. (Biomass Magazine)
• River Birch acquires the rights to operate a Louisiana landfill on which it already has a contract to collect natural gas. (New Orleans Advocate)

TRANSITION: A Chicago firm acquires a former coal-fired power plant in northern Virginia, with plans to convert the 20-acre site into a mixed-use development. (Virginia Business)

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ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A Texas lawmaker files a bill in the state legislature to charge additional registration fees for owners of electric and hybrid vehicles. (Land Line)

COMMENTARY: Wind and solar may provide an economic path forward for rural Texas communities that are losing jobs and population, writes a former Republican state lawmaker. (Amarillo Globe-News)

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