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PUCO meeting, March 2016

Professor Sees Flaw In Argument That Energy Bill Is A “Tax Increase”

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A debate is brewing over whether a group can put the state’s new nuclear bailout bill before voters next year as referendum. The dispute questions if the increased rate on electric bills should be considered a tax increase. A Columbus law firm argues that the new energy law charging electric customers up to $2.35 a month for nuclear,… Read More

Groups Ask NC Regulators to Revoke 2018 Pipeline Permit

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Environmental groups that promote renewable energy want North Carolina regulators to cancel a key state water quality permit issued to build the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Leaders of the North Carolina Climate Solutions Coalition and Friends of the Earth announced Tuesday their petition with the Department of Environmental Quality asking that the… Read More

Yost Rejects Language For Energy Law Referendum

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Opponents of Ohio’s new energy law are rewriting language that they were going to take to voters to reject a nuclear power bailout. This comes after Attorney General Dave Yost denied their first attempt at summarizing the initiative. Yost identified what he described as 21 inaccuracies in the summary language that holds a referendum on Ohio’s new energy law,… Read More

“Bloody Harlan” Revisited: Blackjewel Miners Draw On Labor History While Facing Uncertain Future

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Curtis Cress sat in the gravel beside a railroad track in Harlan County, Kentucky. Tall and thin with a long, black beard, Cress is every bit a coal miner, or, he was until a month ago. “It’s part of my heritage, you know? My dad and papaws had always done it,” he said. “And I’m… Read More

Unions Accuse FirstEnergy Solutions Of Backing Out Of Agreements

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Several unions representing workers at the state’s two nuclear plants are objecting to a new bankruptcy plan by FirstEnergy Solutions, saying the energy generator’s latest filing would not honor union contracts. Rep. David Leland (D-Columbus) says many legislators recently voted to bail out FirstEnergy Solutions’ nuclear plants because they thought they were protecting union jobs. That… Read More

Mussel Woman: Biologist Passes Along Pearls Of Wisdom About Threatened Mussels

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Janet Clayton is standing thigh-deep in a back channel of the Elk River. Clad in a wetsuit and knee pads, the silver-haired biologist with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources reaches into a bright orange mesh bag submerged in water. Inside are a half dozen mussels she plucked from the rocky river bottom. “This… Read More

Kentucky Pipeline Blast Leaves 1 Dead, 5 Injured, 7 Missing

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JUNCTION CITY, Ky. (AP) — A regional gas pipeline ruptured early Thursday in Kentucky, causing a massive explosion that killed one person, hospitalized five others, destroyed railroad tracks and forced the evacuation of a nearby mobile home park, authorities said. Some structures were completely consumed by the blaze, and five to seven people were unaccounted… Read More

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice

W.Va. Governor Signs Tax Break for Company Amid Debt Claim

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has approved a tax break for a struggling coal-fired power plant whose operator says a company owned by the governor owes it $3.1 million. The Republican governor on Tuesday signed a bill to stop charging FirstEnergy Solutions a $12.5 million state tax. The company has been… Read More

Power Plant: How A Grass Might Generate Fuel And Help Fix Damaged Mine Lands

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Down bumpy back roads deep in central West Virginia, a flat, bright green pasture opens up among the rolling hills of coffee-colored trees. Wildflowers and butterflies dot the pasture, but West Virginia University Professor Jeff Skousen is here for something else that stands above the rest of the Appalachian scenery – literally. Thick stalks of… Read More

Coal Miners Back in Washington Fighting for Benefits

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United Mine Workers and supporters were on Capitol Hill Wednesday in an effort to shore up their pension and health benefits. More than 43,000 coal miners in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia are growing anxious about losing their retirement benefits. The coal miner’s union says its pension fund will be insolvent in three years if Congress doesn’t… Read More