Daily Digest

West Virginia sues coal giant over its plan to exit bankruptcy

COAL: West Virginia sues Alpha Natural Resources for fraud, alleging it “knowingly” made “false and misleading” projections to finalize its exit from bankruptcy. (Mother Jones)

ALSO:
• West Virginia’s Governor-elect Jim Justice and President-elect Donald Trump discuss how federal energy policy might help miners. (Associated Press)
• The U.S. mining industry reported the fewest deaths in fiscal 2016 – nine from coal – in nearly four decades. (The Hill)
• From laid-off miners to regional economists, few see the industry in Appalachia recovering from mounting losses. (Associated Press)
• For even a slight recovery, the industry must overcome market economics, automation and slowdowns in manufacturing. (New York Times)
• Higher natural gas prices, not fewer regulations, would do the most to boost coal, experts say. (Salem News)

SOLAR:
• The leader of a new conservative solar coalition in South Carolina outlines its plans for building on recent policy gains there. (Southeast Energy News)
• NextEra completes the largest solar farm in Alabama and starts selling its power to the TVA under a 20-year power-purchase agreement. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)

POLICY: North Carolina’s environmental chief urges President-elect Trump to pull back on regulations and quickly draws outrage from activists. (Winston-Salem Journal)

COAL ASH: The drainage of a coal ash pond in North Carolina draws scrutiny over how much pollution in the Dan River is too much. (Winston-Salem Journal)

CLIMATE:
• Views differ over how the President-elect’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, will influence President-elect Trump’s climate positions. (ClimateWire)
• The Navy’s infrastructure chief for the mid-Atlantic region calls global warming a “threat multiplier” putting national security at risk. (Los Angeles Times)
• Scientists in Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay region are wary of how President-elect Trump’s climate policies will impact their mitigation efforts. (Daily Press)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: President Obama’s aggressive pursuit of the Clean Power Plan makes it easy for President-elect Trump to rescind it. (Wall Street Journal)

PIPELINES:
• Hundreds of activists huddle over how to block two natural gas pipelines through Virginia after Donald Trump becomes president. (Daily Climate)
• The owner of the Colonial fuel pipeline through the South eyes expanding its capacity despite two recent accidents in Alabama. (WABE)
• A Virginia county pins its hope for an industrial park on completion of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. (Daily Press)

FRACKING: Growing interest in northwest Georgia has environmentalists and many local officials clamoring for tighter regulations. (McAlester News-Capital)

OFFSHORE DRILLING: House Speaker Paul Ryan vows to reverse President Obama’s prohibition against drilling off the Atlantic Coast and other areas. (The Hill)

NATURAL GAS: Conferees on an energy bill weigh how best to boost exports of liquefied natural gas from a terminal in Louisiana and one planned in Northeast Florida. (E&E Daily)

VOLKSWAGEN EMISSIONS SCANDAL: A plant spokesman says VW’s planned job cuts will have “no effect” on the company’s Chattanooga facility. (Associated Press)

2010 BP OIL SPILL: Mississippi decides to allocate $3 million of its grant money on coastal restoration and a public education campaign. (Mississippi Today)

RENEWABLES: A senior Duke Energy executive eyes new solar and wind projects. (Charlotte Business Journal)

EFFICIENCY: A North Carolina builder breaks ground on a community with residences certified through the Dept. of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Homes program. (Charlotte Observer)

COMMENTARY:
Alabama Power’s preliminary plans to deal with its coal ash are inadequate. (Southern Environmental Law Center)
• The ban imposed on drilling off the Atlantic coast is a win for now but activists are wary of actions by President-elect Trump. (Environment America)
• The lesson from the defeat of Florida’s solar Amendment 1: voters don’t like to be tricked. (SunSentinel)
• Protests this past weekend against pipeline routes through North Carolina reflect a shift in opponents’ strategy to defeat them. (Fayetteville Observer)

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