Southeast Energy News

Feds may finally take action on toxic dust behind black lung epidemic

COAL: President-elect Joe Biden’s administration appears likely to implement new occupational safety rules around silica dust, a byproduct of coal mining that’s led to an epidemic of advanced black lung disease. (NPR)

ALSO: Vistra announces plans to close a Texas coal-fired power plant by 2027 because of the prohibitive cost of meeting federal regulations for coal ash disposal and toxic wastewater discharge. (Victoria Advocate)

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UTILITIES: San Antonio’s city-owned electric utility solicits bids for 900 MW of solar energy and 500 MW of other generation as it looks to replace five natural gas power plant units and a coal-fired unit that it hopes to close by 2030. (Laredo Morning Times)

• Oklahoma oil and gas leaders dismiss the possibility of a widespread fracking ban under President-elect Joe Biden, but remain concerned about other regulatory changes that will affect the industry. (Oklahoma City Journal Record)
• The federal Maritime Administration will hold public hearings on a Dallas company’s plan to replace an offshore natural gas platform and build a crude oil export facility off the coast of southwest Louisiana. (New Orleans Advocate)

• Florida regulators approve a five-year pilot program by Florida Power & Light to add more electric vehicle charging stations across the state. (CBS Miami)
• Tampa, Florida’s city government adds nine electric vehicles for its water and development and growth management departments. (Florida Politics)
• A North Carolina electric cooperative partners with an energy company to develop an electric vehicle charging system. (news release/CleanTechnica)

• A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers draft review supports the crossing of a Dominion Energy high voltage line over the James River, saying there’s no better alternative. (Daily Press)
• Alabama Power plans to build an electric substation for an industrial park along Interstate 59. (Gadsden Times)
• Dominion Energy hosts a virtual session Thursday to collect public comment on its plans to replace a transmission line in eastern Virginia. (Daily Press) 

• A member of Virginia’s three-person utility regulation board is appointed to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the governor will appoint his successor. (Virginia Mercury)
• South Texas environmentalists worry that billions of bird deaths will result from the Trump administration’s weakening of a historic law protecting migratory birds from threats around wind turbines, oil fields, power lines and other developments. (KXAN)

• More than 30 property owners in South Carolina receive letters from a pipeline developer informing them their land is no longer needed for the project. (Post and Courier)
• Virginia regulators decline to issue a permit for a pipeline that would cross forest and wetlands to supply a power plant that has yet to be built. (WVTF)

• Legislation opening the way for Virginians to install household solar systems has led to a flood of business for installers and developers. (Virginia Mercury)
• A family-owned solar installation business in San Antonio survives a COVID outbreak and rebounds despite the ongoing pandemic. (San Antonio Express-News)

• Texas Democrats and Republicans have an opportunity to find bipartisan solutions for climate change, write two individuals who are part of Citizens’ Climate Lobby. (Laredo Morning Times)
• A local magistrate and columnist contemplates the long history of mining in Logan County, West Virginia, while a post-coal future. (Logan Banner)

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