CORRECTION: The new director of West Virginia’s mine inspection office worked for a CEO who was found guilty of conspiring to violate safety standards at Upper Big Branch mine, but was never himself charged or convicted.

COAL: Alabama miners begin their 20th month of a strike against Warrior Met Coal they believe is now the longest in state history. (NPR)

ALSO:
• Democratic senators from coal mining states call for action after years of black lung activists pressing federal regulators to tighten silica exposure limits, which are twice as high for miners than other workers. (Ohio Valley ReSource)
• West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice appoints as director of the state’s mine inspection office a man who defended a former coal executive found guilty of conspiring to violate safety standards at a mine where a 2010 explosion killed 29 men. (Charleston Gazette-Mail, subscription)
• Clean energy groups testify against a West Virginia consumer advocate’s recommendation that a power utility be forced to buy a coal-fired power plant that was previously set for closure but bailed out by state lawmakers in 2019. (West Virginia Public Broadcasting)
• As Congress moves to block a rail strike, coal-producing states such as West Virginia brace for the possibility that long–simmering freight issues could get even worse. (WOWK)

COAL ASH: Five Kentucky utilities argue they’re complying with federal regulations despite having coal ash storage sites sitting in or near groundwater. (WFPL)

NUCLEAR:
• Descendents of slaves owned by a White family who owns the land atop a large uranium deposit in southern Virginia question whether they might benefit from its potential sale. (Washington Post)
• A Georgia regulator says the two new units at Georgia’s nuclear Plant Vogtle are nearly ready to begin operation. (Coastal Courier)

PIPELINES: The National Park Service approves Dominion Energy’s extension of an 11-mile natural gas pipeline beneath the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. (Asheville Citizen-Times)

POLITICS: Two candidates for a seat on Louisiana’s regulatory commission participate in a testy debate ahead of the Dec. 10 runoff election. (NOLA.com)

RENEWABLES: North Carolina researchers study how ocean currents can be harnessed for energy generation, particularly around the Gulf Stream. (Coastal Review)

BIOMASS: Wood pellet producer Enviva celebrates a Mississippi plant and its first shipment from a state port to overseas customers. (Mississippi Today)

HYDRO: A Texas company announces a deal to scale up its battery-reliant pumped-hydro technology to a commercial system at San Antonio’s municipal utility. (CleanTechnica)

UTILITIES:
• Residents of Memphis, Tennessee, worry about the effects of state regulators’ decision to allow the Tennessee Valley Authority to vastly increase its disposal of toxic waste that potentially could end up in the Mississippi River. (WATN)
• Tennessee investigators release a report on a municipal utility accused of “questionable purchases” and work on private property. (WBIR)

OIL & GAS: A Houston-based firm finds the number of rigs drilling for oil and gas across the U.S. has increased to 784 from 569 a year ago. (Daily Journal)

FINANCE: Attorneys general from several Southeast states file a protest against a large investor’s attempt to acquire utility shares because it supports sustainable investing and a net-zero transition. (S&P Global)

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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.