COAL: A coal company owned by West Virginia’s governor agrees to abide by pollution limits and will pay $300,000 in a settlement after it was found liable for 138 selenium-related violations. (ProPublica, Charleston Gazette-Mail)

COAL ASH:
• A Louisiana utility requests more time to close its unlined coal ash ponds as required by a federal rule. (New Orleans Advocate)
• The Tennessee Valley Authority agrees to move 175 graves from six family cemeteries to enable expansion of a coal ash landfill. (Gallatin News)
• A Georgia county official debunks rumors that Georgia Power is sending coal ash to a local landfill. (Albany Herald)
• The EPA considers partial approval for Texas’ coal-ash permit program. (news release, EPA)

***SPONSORED LINK: Whether you’re aware of it or not, clean energy is working for you right now.  Support NCSEA’s efforts to continue building a clean energy future that works for all North Carolinians  by giving a tax-deductible donation before December 31. www.energync.org/cleanworks .***

REGULATION: A North Carolina task force recommends the state add environmental justice and inclusion positions at four agencies to counter a tendency to locate polluting industries near low-income neighborhoods and communities of color. (N.C. Policy Watch) 

UTILITIES:
• Troubled South Carolina utility Santee Cooper paid out more than $5 million in “incentive” bonuses this year. (The Nerve)
• West Virginia public utilities will see a drop in the valuation of their properties in 2021, but an even bigger decline is coming in 2022, based on the pandemic’s effects. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• Florida’s investor-owned utilities spent more than $9 million on campaign contributions in the 2020 elections, mostly on Republicans. (Energy & Policy Institute)

SOLAR: Lafayette Utilities System seeks bids for 300 MW of solar power in Louisiana to grow its share of renewable power. (KATC)

OIL & GAS:
• A Texas city will consider an ordinance requiring 20-foot setbacks from plugged gas wells with the goal of preventing developers from building on them. (Denton Record-Chronicle)
• An explosion during a fire at a Texas petroleum facility injures seven contractors. (Associated Press)

***SPONSORED LINK: Looking to understand how bias affects energy policy? What role does environmental justice play in utility ratemaking? Join Renew Missouri on Dec. 18 from 12-1 p.m. CST for a critical, engaging webinar. Tickets are only $75. Sign up today! ***

PIPELINES: A Georgia city negotiates easements with Atlanta Gas Light over construction of a 9.3-mile gas pipeline. (Rome News-Tribune)

COMMENTARY:
• North Carolina advocates say the clean energy industry can advance racial equity through job opportunities and making energy improvements available to people who struggle to pay energy bills. (Raleigh News & Observer)
• After coal’s decline and the loss of 60,000 people since the “shale boom” began 15 years ago, West Virginia should pivot from fossil fuels to pursue renewable energy, writes a finance expert and researcher at the Ohio River Valley Institute. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• A western Virginia newspaper hails a plan championed by mayors to invest $60 billion annually in federal and private spending to jump-start the renewable energy sector in Appalachia. (Roanoke Times)

Mason Adams

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.