COAL: A new report finds West Virginia is in an economic recession, largely due to coal’s decline. (The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register)

ALSO:
• Inaction by smaller companies increases concerns that taxpayers will be stuck with the bill for cleaning up bankrupt mining operations. (Washington Post)
• West Virginia’s governor signs an industry-backed bill that weakens mine safety regulations. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• As both sides await sentencing in the Don Blankenship trial, 94 people are seeking restitution in the case. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• An investigation finds a Kentucky miner was killed last year because workers had propped up an 18-ton machine with wooden boards. (Lexington Herald-Leader)

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PIPELINES: Federal regulators uphold a $2.6 million fine against ExxonMobil for the Mayflower pipeline spill. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

OFFSHORE DRILLING:
• House Republicans push back on offshore drilling regulations drafted in response to the Deepwater Horizon spill. (The Hill)
• Offshore drilling opponents are taking a wait-and-see approach to seismic testing off the Atlantic coast. (Carteret County Times-News)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: Activist groups rally across Virginia to support EPA carbon rules. (WJHL)

SOLAR:
• Arkansas’ largest solar project, which will supply 30 percent of a defense contractor’s electricity, went online last week. (Arkansas Business)
• The Tennessee Valley Authority approves 17 MW of new solar projects. (Associated Press)
• Birmingham, Alabama’s new Rotary Trail will feature solar-powered chargers for electronic devices. (Alabama NewsCenter)

FRACKING: Florida activists continue to push for local fracking bans. (SaintPetersBlog)

NATURAL GAS: Florida utilities saw nearly $6 billion in losses from 2002-2015 due to bad bets on natural gas prices. (Wall Street Journal)

NUCLEAR: A South Carolina economic development group seeks to join a lawsuit over a delayed Department of Energy nuclear fuel facility. (Associated Press)

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UTILITIES: Fort Lauderdale seeks more than $774,000 from a utility it says has been undercharging for a municipal tax. (Sun-Sentinel)

COMMENTARY:
• Why we need to pay attention to scientists’ latest warning on sea levels. (National Geographic)
• Why North Carolina’s coal ash problems could be a sign of things to come for other states. (Institute for Southern Studies)
• The CEO of Santee Cooper says the utility’s community solar project is an example of supporting clean energy “without shifting costs” to customers who don’t participate. (Myrtle Beach Online)
• Why Greensboro, North Carolina should be a renewable energy leader. (Greensboro News & Record)
• A utility-backed Florida solar amendment is “not all it’s cracked up to be.” (The Ledger)

Ken Paulman

Ken is the director of the Energy News Network at Fresh Energy and is a founding editor of both Midwest Energy News and Southeast Energy News. Prior to joining Fresh Energy, he was the managing editor for online news at Minnesota Public Radio. He started his journalism career in 2002 as a copy editor for the Duluth News Tribune before spending five years at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, where he worked as a copy editor, online producer, features editor and night city editor. A Nebraska native, Ken has a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's degree from the University of Oregon. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors.

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