Southeast Energy News

Coal’s rising production costs main driver of Appalachian mine closures

COAL:  Rising production costs not cheap natural gas was the lead factor in thousands of coal mine closures across Appalachia, a new study shows. (WV Public Broadcasting)

• Kentucky lawmakers didn’t consult federal experts during the 14 months they considered a new law that mostly limits black lung diagnoses to pulmonologists working for coal companies. (NPR)
• West Virginia’s Supreme Court rules in favor of Gov. Jim Justice’s coal companies in a lawsuit on behalf of 16 families who alleged well water contamination. (Register-Herald)
• West Virginia counties report an increase in revenues generated by coal severance taxes after a reduction in state regulations. (Bluefield Daily Telegraph)

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CAP-AND-TRADE: Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam vetoes a bill that would have prohibited him from establishing a carbon cap-and-trade program without approval from the General Assembly. (Augusta Free Press)

• Some worry rising sea levels could submerge Florida’s Turkey Point nuclear plant, which received approval last week to build two new reactors. (
• The new reactors at Turkey Point may not be constructed after all, though, due to their billion-dollar price tag and competition from cheap gas. (Utility Dive)

• Google’s solar power deal with Georgia Power is an emerging strategy to purchase clean power in states less likely to have regulatory or legislative mandates. (GreenBiz)
• Southern Co.’s CEO says it will be “low to no-carbon” by 2050 by focusing on renewables, nuclear, storage and natural gas with carbon capture technology. (Utility Dive)

• Ads touting Dominion Energy’s takeover of SCANA air again after a seven-week break to reassess what state lawmakers called “deceptive advertising.” (The State)
• An analysis shows five choices for Santee Cooper and six for SCE&G, as the South Carolina utilities grapple with the financial fallout from the failed Summer nuclear plant. (Utility Dive)

COAL ASH: A public comment period concludes on a proposed air quality permit that would let Duke Energy reprocess and recycle coal ash at a North Carolina plant. (WFAE)

PIPELINES: Police respond to Mountain Valley Pipeline opponents in Virginia who were impeding tree cutting along the route. (WSLS)

• Virginia has the chance to leverage its ports, workforce and business climate to become a major hub for the country’s nascent offshore wind industry, says the president of a Denmark-based wind energy company. (Virginian-Pilot)
A one-year suspension on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline would allow North Carolina time to consider its energy future without as much political pressure, says a member of the Fayetteville Observer advisory board.
• President Trump and Florida Gov. Rick Scott are playing election-year politics with offshore drilling, says an editorial board. (Sun Sentinel)

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