As coal declines, West Virginia officially in a recession

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

• 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)

• 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)

• 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)

• 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)

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