Southeast Energy News

As coal production increases, so do cases of black lung disease

COAL:
• West Virginia experiences a rise in black lung disease as workloads increase and newer equipment generates more silica dust. (The Register-Herald)

MORE:
• U.S. coal production increased in 2017 even as domestic consumption fell thanks to high demand for exports. (The Herald-Dispatch)
• Across Appalachia, programs that support coal country are slated for funding increases under the new federal budget bill. (West Virginia Public Radio)

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TRANSMISSION: The U.S. Department of Energy withdraws support for a $2.5 billion transmission line in Arkansas after requests by the state’s congressional delegation to cancel the project. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

PIPELINES:
• A citizens group files a complaint with federal regulators alleging unauthorized work on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. (The News Virginian)
• Tree cutting is already underway along the Atlantic Coast Pipeline route, but opponents in North Carolina are not letting up. (North Carolina Public Radio)
• Virginia state police spent nearly $50,000 staffing public meetings for two controversial natural gas pipelines, documents show. (Roanoke Times)

SOLAR:
• Kentucky’s solar industry is working with state lawmakers to rewrite parts of a controversial anti-solar net metering bill. (WKU Public Radio)
• A West Virginia nonprofit is training workers to install solar panels in a state where fewer than 400 people work in the industry.  (The Herald-Dispatch)

UTILITIES:
• A South Carolina state senator denies a conflict of interest after being hired by an electric cooperative association seeking to block Santee Cooper from charging its members for a failed nuclear project. (The State)
• Duke Energy Carolinas customers are probably going to pay higher rates to cover the costs of coal ash cleanup, a failed nuclear project, and grid upgrades. (Winston-Salem Journal)

POLITICS: Don Blankenship went to prison after the deaths of 29 miners. Now, he’s a U.S. Senate contender in a West Virginia. (Politico)

OIL & GAS: A loose barge hit a concrete wall Sunday and spilled nearly 10,000 gallons of biodiesel into the Mississippi River in New Orleans. (The Times-Picayune)

COMMENTARY
• Massachusetts’ recent purchase of Russian LNG from the Arctic Circle offers a lesson to Virginia on the importance of pipelines, the Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial board writes.    
• Kentucky’s solar energy bill is an example of lawmakers putting corporate interests ahead of the public, a columnist writes. (Louisville Courier Journal)

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