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Farmland is seen with solar panels from Cypress Creek Renewables, Oct. 28, 2021, in Thurmont, Md.

Biden allows solar panel imports while also moving to boost domestic production

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (NPR) — The Biden administration is ending its hands-off approach to a Commerce Department tariff investigation that has effectively frozen the solar power industry in the United States. A probe into whether Chinese solar manufacturers had been improperly funneling parts through four other Asian countries had cut solar installation forecasts nearly in half… Read More

Residential natural gas meter measuring gas consumption.

Columbia Gas of Ohio proposes tripling its monthly fixed rate for natural gas

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WOSU) — Columbia Gas of Ohio is asking the Ohio Public Utilities Commission to approve nearly tripling the flat, monthly distribution charge 1.4 million customers pay before the cost of natural gas usage is added to the bill. If the PUCO approves the 2021 request, the fee would rise from about $17 a… Read More

Adam Farkes and Leo Azevedo of BNRG at a solar energy project in Augusta, Maine.

Solar projects are on hold as U.S. investigates whether China is skirting trade rules

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AUGUSTA, Maine (Maine Public) — Hundreds of large-scale solar power projects are on hold in the U.S. as the industry awaits the outcome of a federal investigation into potential trade violations involving solar panels bought from Asian suppliers. Department of Commerce investigators hope to determine whether Chinese manufacturers are skirting longstanding U.S. duty rules on… Read More

This March 15, 2018 photo shows a natural gas drill rig in Belmont County, Ohio.

Firm pays back $20M but insists Belmont County petrochemical project is viable

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CLEVELAND (AP) — The U.S. subsidiary of a Thailand-based petrochemical giant has repaid Ohio’s private economic development office $20 million after it failed to make an investment decision in 2020 on a proposed petrochemical plant in the state. Spokespersons for PTT Global Chemical America and JobsOhio insisted this week the company still plans to build… Read More

An aerial image shows storage tanks at the Chevron Products Company El Segundo Refinery adjacent to a neighborhood of homes at sunset in Manhattan Beach, Calif., on Jan. 24.

Accusations of ‘greenwashing’ by big oil companies are well-founded, a new study finds

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (NPR) — Four major oil companies aren’t taking concrete steps to live up to their pledges to transition to clean energy, new research has found. The study, published Wednesday in the journal PLOS One, found that Chevron, ExxonMobil, BP and Shell used terms like “climate,” “low-carbon” and “transition” more frequently in recent annual… Read More

Trucks cross the Vincent Thomas Bridge above a container ship at the Port of Los Angeles on Nov. 30, 2021 in San Pedro, Calif.

U.S. greenhouse gas emissions jumped in 2021, a threat to climate goals

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (NPR) — U.S. greenhouse gas emissions rose by 6.2% last year compared to 2020, new data released Monday shows. The spike was attributed to a slew of causes, including behavior changes after COVID-19 vaccines became widely available, the research firm Rhodium Group reported. But it also means governmental goals to combat climate change… Read More

The U.S. Capitol at sunset

The infrastructure law brings mine reclamation, clean water and broadband to Appalachia

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The bipartisan infrastructure bill that became law last month has billions of dollars in it for roads, bridges, airports and transit systems in the Ohio Valley. The law also addresses some of the region’s other pressing needs. The $1 trillion infrastructure law has the potential to deliver big improvements to Appalachia. It will help reclaim… Read More

An isle at the grocery store without customers

How inflation, climate change and energy costs are pushing up food prices

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (NewsHour) — In the US, inflation is now above six percent, and globally, food prices are at their highest since 2011. Climate change, energy demands and inflation are causing shortages and driving up costs in some of the poorest nations. Wall Street Journal reporter Samantha Pearson joins NewsHour’s Hari Sreenivasan from Sao Paulo,… Read More

The coal power station on the border between WV and PA

Coal-fired power plants to close after new wastewater rule

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) — Climate change isn’t what’s driving some U.S. coal-fired power plants to shut down. It’s the expense of stricter pollution controls on their wastewater. Dozens of plants nationwide plan to stop burning coal this decade to comply with more stringent federal wastewater guidelines, according to state regulatory filings, as the industry continues… Read More

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice

A Kentucky court orders West Virginia’s governor to pay penalty over mine reclamation

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (OVR) — A Kentucky court has found coal companies owned by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice in default of a 2019 mine reclamation agreement. A judge in Frankfort on Tuesday ordered Justice to pay a nearly $3 million penalty, plus interest, over mine reclamation work at three sites in eastern Kentucky that was… Read More

FirstEnergy Corp.'s Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station in Oak Harbor, Ohio.

Consumer advocates demand fresh FirstEnergy audit after new facts are revealed

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Consumer advocates are asking the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to reopen one of its audits of Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp. after discovering evidence that the first review didn’t look at whether money the company has admitted funneling into a $60 million bribery scheme came from customers. The Office of Ohio Consumers’… Read More

The John Amos power station in West Virginia

Groups ask regulators to reconsider decision on West Virginia power plants

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Three groups are asking the West Virginia Public Service Commission to reconsider a decision allowing Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power to keep three plants operational through at least 2040. The Parkersburg News and Sentinel reports that West Virginia Citizen Action Group, Solar United Neighbors, and Energy Efficient West Virginia filed a… Read More

Emissions rise from a smokestack in Ohio.

Once again, the U.S. has failed to take sweeping climate action. Here’s why

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WASHINGTON, D.C . (NPR) — In April, President Biden unveiled the United States’ most ambitious plan ever to cut emissions that drive climate change, and he urged other nations to follow. Now, days before Biden prepares for a pivotal climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, the White House’s keystone legislative plan to tackle climate disruption appears… Read More

The John Amos power station in West Virginia

How Dem debate over Biden climate agenda could affect U.S. economy

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (NewsHour) — The coming weeks will be pivotal for President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda as Congress and the White House debate the trade-offs of a major bill that could affect the pocketbooks, working conditions and social safety net for Americans. NewsHour’s William Brangham looks at what it could mean for coping with climate… Read More

Solar panels on Bryce Baumann’s farm.

Why energy prices are spiking globally and how it affects green initiatives

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (NewsHour) — Gasoline prices are on the rise, along with the cost of home-heating oil and natural gas. But international energy officials at the Russian Energy Week event on Thursday warned of a global energy crunch that could slow the economic recovery from the pandemic. NewsHour’s Nick Schifrin has more.

Some of the 1,000 solar panels that are part of a green energy project on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation frame the landscape near Cannon Ball, N.D., where the grand opening for the energy farm that was borne partly out of protests against the Dakota Access pipeline in 2016 and 2017 was held. Revenue generated from the 30 kilowatt farm is currently being used to power a community center and gymnasium in Cannon Ball. (AP Photo/Dave Kolpack)

Appalachian Solar Dreams Become Realities As Money Flows In To A Community In Kentucky

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MARTIN COUNTY, Ky. (OVR) — The promise of solar energy for small, rural communities, and particularly those recovering from the decline of the coal industry, is twofold: job creation, and revenue. Money is flowing into solar energy—  the Appalachian Regional Commission just funded a major regional solar financing program, and a massive solar farm may… Read More

FirstEnergy Corp.'s Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station in Oak Harbor, Ohio.

FirstEnergy Charged In House Bill 6 Scandal, Agrees To $230 Million Penalty

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — FirstEnergy will pay $230 million after entering into a deferred prosecution agreement over charges that the company bribed then-House Speaker Larry Householder and former Public Utilities Commission chair Sam Randazzo. The company admitted it “conspired with public officials and other individuals and entities”, according to a release from Acting… Read More

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron

Kentucky’s AG Cameron on West Virginia Coal Plant: Close It

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (OVR) — Environmental and consumer groups have pushed for the early closure of a 50-year-old coal-fired power plant in West Virginia that serves electricity customers in both West Virginia and Kentucky. They have an unlikely ally: Kentucky’s Republican attorney general, Daniel Cameron. In a filing last week with the Kentucky Public Service Commission,… Read More

The John Amos power station in West Virginia

West Virginia Coal Plants Need Upgrades. Three States Will Decide Their Fate.

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They’ve towered over the region’s communities for decades. They generated the electricity for homes around the Ohio Valley. They burned coal, a fossil fuel Appalachia has in abundance. But three West Virginia coal-fired power plants owned by Ohio-based American Electric Power may be on borrowed time. The Mitchell Plant in Moundsville, the Mountaineer Plant in… Read More

Solar panels on Bryce Baumann’s farm.

Power Switch: Solar Is Heating Up In The Ohio Valley

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FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (OVR) — St. Vincent’s Mission has been doing the work of feeding, clothing and sheltering the people of Floyd County, Kentucky, since 1968. “We believe that all persons have a God-ordained right to the basic needs of life in order to meet their full potential,” the mission states on its website. Recently,… Read More

Cecil Roberts, President of United Mine Workers of America

Mine Workers’ Leader Wants To Save Last Coal Jobs As Biden Tackles Climate

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (OVR) — United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts said he’s been hearing the term “just transition” tossed around for more than 20 years as part of the long-running, nearly Sisyphean discussion about climate change, clean energy, and coal country. Simply put: he’s not a fan. “I ask anybody who has been… Read More

A mountaintop removal mine site in southern West Virginia.

New Research: Reclamation of Abandoned Oil And Gas Wells, Mine Sites Could Create Thousands of Jobs

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WHITESBURG, Ky. (OVR) — In Central Appalachia an estimated 538,000 unplugged oil and gas wells and 853,393 acres of abandoned mine lands sit unreclaimed, often polluting the air and water, and presenting public safety threats. But according to two new reports from the regional think tank Ohio River Valley Institute,  these sites that now pose serious… Read More