Southeast Energy News

After pressure from miners, Democrats introduce black lung disease bills

UTILITIES: A controversial North Carolina bill that would allow regulators to approve multiyear rate increases for Duke Energy is stalled in the Republican-controlled General Assembly. (Energy News Network)

COAL:
• As a group of Appalachian coal miners with black lung disease lobbies in Washington, D.C., Democratic lawmakers introduce bills to provide more funding for miners’ medical benefits. (Ohio Valley Resource)
• Several miners are discouraged by a meeting about black lung disease with Sen. Mitch McConnell, who they say left without answering questions or offering details. (Reuters)
• Several coal companies named in a lawsuit in Virginia claim they don’t owe $4 million in unpaid safety fines. (West Virginia Record)

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OIL & GAS:
• Developers of a proposed petrochemical cracker plant in West Virginia officially withdraw their plans. (WV Metro News)
• An Energy Department official tells West Virginia lawmakers that building out a petrochemical industry in Appalachia is a top priority. (WVPB)
• A Louisiana community college will build an oil and gas pipeline training academy. (KPLC)
• State and federal officials, environmentalists, and the oil industry argue over protections for a threatened lizard in the Permian Basin. (E&E News, subscription)

PIPELINES: Energy company Kinder Morgan sues Kyle, Texas, asking a judge to block an ordinance that regulates the construction and operation of pipelines in the city. (Austin American-Statesman)

COAL ASH: As some North Carolina communities face rising rates of rare cancers, suspicions swarm that historic pollution beneath them could be related to energy development, particularly coal ash. (Southerly)

NUCLEAR: Some residents in a small Texas town want to diversify from oil and gas by allowing a radioactive nuclear waste dump to be built. (Bloomberg)

SOLAR:
• A Nashville, Tennessee, man works to introduce solar in minority communities and get more people of color in the solar industry. (NPR)
• More Arkansas cities and counties are going solar as it becomes more economically feasible. (Arkansas Business)
• Duke Energy signs power-purchase agreements with nine solar developers in North Carolina but won’t release who the winning bidders are. (WSOC)
• A North Carolina solar company is the nation’s eighth-largest residential solar contractor, according to a solar industry publication. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• Duke Energy’s North Carolina utilities complete solicitations for 551 MW of solar, with average pricing between 3.79¢/kWh and 3.83¢/kWh. (PV Magazine)

STORAGE: An Oklahoma electric cooperative will buy 200 MW of battery stored energy, completing what developers say will be the largest combined wind, solar and energy storage project in the U.S. (Oklahoman)

CARBON TAX: A Florida Republican lawmaker plans to introduce a measure to put a $30-per-ton tax on carbon emissions that would increase 5% annually. (E&E News, subscription)

COMMENTARY:
• An editorial board is optimistic about Georgia regulators’ push to adopt more solar energy. (Savannah Morning News)
• Florida’s governor should approve a utility’s plan to convert a power plant to natural gas and ignore environmentalists’ concerns that it should be powered by renewable energy, an editorial board writes. (Tampa Bay Times)

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