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• A U.S. civil rights panel is to assess impacts of coal ash disposal on the poor beginning in Alabama. (Environmental Health News)
• North Carolina is ready to impose a new fine on Duke Energy over the pace of its responses to coal-ash disposal mandates. (Charlotte Business Journal)
• A South Carolina county pulls the permit for a landfill after its bid to receive coal ash. (WSPA-TV)
• A senior regulator says North Carolina’s coal ash cleanup law is stretching the state’s environmental agency “to the absolute breaking point.” (Associated Press)
• North Carolina regulators say draft risk classifications of Duke Energy coal-ash ponds lacked key data about groundwater and soil conditions. (Charlotte Business Journal)

WIND: A developer clears the first permitting hurdle for the proposed Rock Forge wind system in western Virginia. (RENews)

RENEWABLES: A developer of solar and wind systems on farms signs lease agreements in South Carolina. (SeeNews)

SOLAR: Augusta, Georgia rejects a proposed solar system proposed for a local landfill designed to sell electricity to Georgia Power. (WJBF-TV)

POLICY: Lawmakers gird for President Obama’a strengthened resolve against “dirty energy.” (E&E Daily)

TECHNOLOGY: Researchers at Virginia Tech develop a “bacterial battery” that could recover ammonia and supply energy to wastewater treatment facilities. (Water Online)

FRACKING: The Florida Senate passes a bill to prohibit local fracking bans, but includes additional protections. (Miami Herald)

• West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin says it’s time reinvest in the state’s coalfields. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
Taxpayers could be on the hook for reclaiming coal mines due to Arch Coal’s self-bonding and bankruptcy. (Taxpayers for Common Sense)
• A documentary about mining coal in West Virginia premieres January 21 on the Public Broadcasting Service. (West Virginia Public Broadcasting)

UTILITIES: Duke Energy’s utility in North Carolina finishes high in one ranking of business customer satisfaction while other Duke affiliates rank near the bottom. (Charlotte Business Journal)

• The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port could be transformed into a trading hub with certain infrastructure investments. (Baton Rouge Advocate)
• Tourist destinations in Williamsburg, Virginia are reaping the benefits of lower gasoline prices. (Daily Press)

• Two Virginia lawmakers renew a bid to repeal a 2004 law that gives pipeline developers rights to survey land without the owner’s consent. (The Roanoke Times)
• A documentary adds to the growing opposition in Georgia to the proposed Palmetto Pipeline. (WRDW-TV)

• Electrifying dams in Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi could yield significant amounts of carbon-free power. (The New York Times)
Climate change is the security risk Republicans refuse to talk about. (Raleigh News & Observer)
Solar is North Carolina’s energy future and it should continue support it. (Fayetteville Observer)
Kentuckians from non-coal areas of the state need to heed the challenges facing those in eastern Kentucky. (The Advocate Messenger)

Jim Pierobon, a policy, marketing and social media strategist, was a founding contributor to Southeast Energy News. He passed away after a long battle with pancreatic cancer in 2018.

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