Note to readers: Southeast Energy News is taking a break for the holiday and will be back on Monday, Nov. 30. Thank you for reading!

COAL: Six U.S. Senators call on federal regulators to implement new rules protecting miners from silica dust, which has contributed to an ongoing surge in black lung cases. (Ohio Valley ReSource)

ALSO:
• A 20-year-old is killed at a southern West Virginia mine, marking the sixth coal mining death this year. (West Virginia Public Broadcasting)
• West Virginia and Welsh companies will collaborate on a business to manufacture coal into hard carbon battery and supercapacitor cells. (WV News) 

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SOLAR:
• Duke Energy Florida’s plan to build ten 75 MW solar plants in the next five years attracts support, but also criticism from a group that says the new projects would primarily benefit large corporations. (Spectrum Bay News 9)
• Maroon Solar withdraws its application for a 1,000-acre solar farm after a Virginia county planning commission recommends against it. (Inside NoVa/Culpeper Times)
• Dominion Energy signs an agreement to buy power from a 75 MW solar park in southwestern Virginia. (Solar Power World)
• A central Virginia county approves an 80 MW solar farm after two years of debate and public feedback. (Emporia Independent-Messenger)
• An eastern Tennessee utility board agrees to buy power from solar energy company Silicon Ranch. (Greeneville Sun)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• St. Petersburg, Florida, launches a free, self-driving electric shuttle that will operate 12 hours a day, five days a week through the winter. (WFLA)
• Florida regulators will consider Florida Power & Light’s plan to install more vehicle-charging stations. (WTVX)

COAL ASH: A judge hears arguments over whether Georgia Power can shift $525 million in coal ash cleanup costs to its ratepayers. (Georgia Recorder)

UTILITIES: Florida regulators consider asking state lawmakers to allow some testimony at public hearings to be made in secret to protect trade secrets and other proprietary information. (The Center Square Florida)

OIL & GAS:
• A report forecasts continued consolidation in the oil and gas industry next year, with a reduction of up to half of onshore companies. (Beaumont Enterprise)
• Williams Companies makes a deal with the bankrupt Chesapeake Energy Corp. to shore up its natural gas assets in Oklahoma and elsewhere. (Natural Gas Intelligence)

NUCLEAR: A program director at Tennessee’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory pitches 3D printing as a way to make commercial nuclear power more competitive with natural gas. (Oak Ridger)

Mason Adams

Mason has worked as a journalist since 2001, covering Appalachian communities and the issues that affect them. He compiles the Southeast Energy News digest. Mason previously worked as a wildlife biologist before moving into journalism by freelancing at Coast Weekly in Monterey, California, before taking an internship in 2001 at High Country News. He wrote for the Enterprise Mountaineer in western North Carolina and the Roanoke Times in western Virginia before going freelance in 2012. His work has appeared in Southerly, Daily Yonder, Mother Jones, Huffington Post, WVPB’s Inside Appalachia and elsewhere. Mason was born and raised in Clifton Forge, Virginia, and now lives with his family and a small herd of goats in Floyd County, Virginia.