Daily Digest

Coal baron found guilty on one of three criminal charges

BLANKENSHIP TRIAL:
• A jury finds former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship guilty on a misdemeanor charge of violating coal mine safety violations, but not guilty on two felony counts. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
• Relatives of coal miners killed in the 2010 West Virginia coal mine explosion that prompted the trial express mixed emotions about the single misdemeanor verdict. (Charleston Gazette-Mail) 
A juror recounts how the verdict was reached. (WSAZ)
• Blankenship faces up to one year in prison. (Climate Progress)

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SOLAR:
• Mississippi strikes a middle ground in setting credits for excess power generated by solar systems. (Associated Press)
• Residents of Virginia’s Eastern Shore hear details about a second large solar farm to be built there next year. (Delmarva Daily  Times)

WIND: The company proposing to build 25 wind turbines in western Virginia sets an open house to gain public support. (The Roanoke Times)

COAL ASH:
• North Carolina issues the first permit to Duke Energy to drain coal ash ponds at a shuttered power plant near Wilmington. (WRAL)
• A bureaucratic logjam could prevent Duke Energy from meeting a 2019 deadline for closing coal ash ponds at the site of the massive 2014 Dan River ash spill in North Carolina. (Greensboro News & Record)
• While it awaits regulatory approval, Duke Energy begins removing contaminated soil from the Dan River coal ash site and transporting it to a landfill in Virginia. (Greensboro News & Record)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A bill set for Kentucky’s 2016 legislative session would charge EV owners an annual fee to offset the gasoline tax they don’t pay. (Kentucky Forward)

CLIMATE: Atlanta’s Mayor Kasim Reed tells a meeting at the Paris climate talks how cities are coping with global warming. (WABE Public Radio)

COAL:
• Alpha Natural Resources slates several additional West Virginia and Kentucky coal mines for closure in its plan to emerge from bankruptcy. (Platts)
• The Kemper coal-gasification power plant in Mississippi is becoming a monument to an unfilled promise of carbon-capture technology. (Associated Press)
• Federal mine safety officials tout new rules for monitoring coal dust which causes black lung disease. (Associated Press)

POLICY: A south Florida House member tries to cast climate change as an economic and commerce conversation to woo skeptics in the state’s capital. (WLRN Public Radio)

UTILITIES:
• Shareholders approve the sale of Tampa Electric’s parent company to a Nova Scotia-based firm. (Tampa Bay Business Journal)
• More than 4,000 Duke Energy customers could be affected by the closure of a company that processes rebates and collects defunct refrigerators. (The Raleigh News & Observer)
• Regulators authorize the East Kentucky Power Cooperative to buy three natural gas-fueled generators to make up for the retirement of a coal-fired plant. (Louisville Courier-Journal)

OIL & GAS: The latest federal data show West Virginia has the fourth most proven natural gas reserves in the U.S., behind Texas, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma. (The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register)

COMMENTARY: Virginia has issued two woefully inadequate draft permits that would allow Dominion Virginia Power to dump coal ash wastewater into the state’s waterways. (Southern Environmental Law Center)

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