Southeast Energy News

WV governor’s coal company settles over 100 pollution violations

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)

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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)

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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)

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