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DOE report says natural gas causing decline in Appalachian coal

COAL: A highly anticipated report from the Department of Energy contradicts President Trump’s public statements and says that natural gas competition, including from West Virginia’s Marcellus Shale, has been the largest reason for the decline of the Appalachian coal industry. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

ALSO: The Tennessee Valley Authority plans to install two dozen more monitoring wells at one of its coal plants where high levels of contaminants were found in nearby groundwater. (Associated Press)

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• A lawsuit filed by nine North Carolina residents living near Duke Energy’s unlined wants to block the utility from offering a $5,000 payment to about 1,000 neighbors who give up the option of suing over future water problems. (Associated Press)
A government contractor accused of fatally endangering workers at the site of the nation’s largest coal ash disaster wants Tennessee Valley Authority customers to pay its legal bills. (Knoxville News Sentinel)

• Santee Cooper’s CEO could be the first public official ousted following South Carolina’s failed Summer nuclear project as the state tries to sell its utility company. (Post and Courier)
Georgia Power Co. is finalizing a new cost-and-schedule presentation for its Vogtle nuclear expansion project, but keeping details under wraps until next week. (E&E News, subscription)
South Carolina’s House speaker asked for the resignation of the director of the state regulatory agency that looks out for utility customers following the abandonment of the Summer nuclear project. (The State)

• Mississippi Power’s CEO discusses details of a settlement agreement to write off more than $6 billion of the cost of the failed Kemper “clean coal” plant and not increase customers’ rates. (Sun Herald)
The Tennessee Valley Authority’s staff is at its lowest level ever, but the utility expects to continue making cuts as the demand for its power stagnates. (Times Free Press)

OIL & GAS: Some offshore oil and gas operators in the Gulf of Mexico were evacuated Thursday as Hurricane Harvey approaches. (Associated Press)

Proposed controversial pipeline projects that would run through Virginia may be problematic for Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s remaining few months in office. (Virginia Public Radio)
Pipeline opponents in Virginia are planning a three-day protest to take place as McAuliffe contemplates a final decision on whether to approve the projects. (Augusta Free Press)
Dominion Energy says developers will establish pollinator habitats along 50-some miles of the Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline route. (Wilson Times)

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