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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
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 Trump administration rolled back the regulations last year, a move that was so controversial even some oil companies opposed it. Methane is an even more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
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
In 2020, renewable power was “the only energy source for which demand increased … while consumption of all other fuels declined,” the International Energy Agency says.
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
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
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
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (OVR) — For decades now, rhetoric around action on climate change has been about things like saving the planet, or saving polar bears. Just think: How many times have you seen an image of ice crashing into the sea from a melting glacier, or a sad-eyed seal atop a floe, as part of… Read More
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana and a dozen other states are suing the Biden administration to end a suspension of oil and gas leasing on federal lands and waters. Louisiana’s Republican Attorney General, Jeff Landry, announced the federal lawsuit Wednesday. The suit also seeks a court order that the government go ahead with two offshore… Read More
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky man charged with illegally dumping low-level nuclear waste at an Estill County landfill has pleaded guilty in federal court to two charges of shipping the waste without the proper labeling. The Lexington Herald-Leader reports Cory David Hoskins faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up… Read More
Natural gas utilities face a bleak future in a world increasingly concerned about climate change. An NPR investigation shows how they work to block local climate action and protect their business.
CLARK COUNTY, Ky. (OVR) — The golden hue of the sunset shines across the sky and through the window as a woman drives down Van Meter Road in central Kentucky’s Clark County, passing by green rolling hills and hay bales. In her social media video from early September, Adreanna Wills points out white signs in yards along the… Read More
Some prominent Republicans have blamed wind and solar power for the blackouts in the storm-stricken state. But the truth is that every source of generation fell short.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Several bills have been introduced in the Ohio House and Senate to tackle the controversial nuclear power plant bailout bill, HB6. The measures range from a complete repeal of the bill at the center of a bribery investigation to repealing portions of the legislation. Rep. Dick Stein (R-Norwalk) proposed… Read More
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (OVR) — An analysis of natural gas production in the Ohio Valley finds that the biggest gas producing counties in the region suffered economically over the past decade compared to the rest of the country, although natural gas production was high. The report released Wednesday by the Ohio River Valley Institute, a nonprofit… Read More
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — There’s another plea deal in the federal corruption case involving Republican former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford), the former chair of the Ohio Republican Party and a utility widely believed to be FirstEnergy. That case has been called the largest bribery scandal in state history. The dark money… Read More
CLEVELAND (AP) — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has announced Ohio’s largest electric utility has agreed in a settlement to forgo collection of a guaranteed profit subsidy provision in a now-tainted energy bill. Yost says the subsidy would have allowed Akron-based FirstEnergy to collect $102 million from customers in 2021. Yost’s office sued FirstEnergy in… Read More
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) is asking for a new list of candidates to potentially chair the state’s utilities regulatory agency. The former chair of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio resigned after the FBI raided his home. DeWine rejected the four candidates named by the PUCO Nominating Council. But he… Read More
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — The Ohio House finished the bulk of its work with the Republican speaker saying the chamber will not take any action on HB6. The sweeping energy law that bails out nuclear power plants has been linked to the biggest alleged scandal in Ohio politics. In the course of seven… Read More
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Gov. Mike DeWine disregarded cries of alarm in early 2019 from consumer and environmental advocates, concerns echoed in a previously undisclosed last-minute plea from GOP insiders, when he was selecting the state’s top utility regulator — a man now under scrutiny as a wide-ranging bribery and corruption investigation roils Ohio. Nearly… Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. (OVR) — The Mine Safety and Health Administration is not doing enough to protect coal miners from deadly silica dust, according to a new report from the Department of Labor’s Office of the Inspector General. The IG found that MSHA’s standards for exposure to deadly silica dust were out of date, and MSHA lacked… Read More
MORGANTOWN, W. Va. (OVR) — Environmental and community advocates in Appalachian coal communities are concerned about a new federal rule, finalized this week, that is changing the process that allows citizens to file complaints about polluting coal mining operations. The Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement said in a Tuesday press release that… Read More
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Leaders in Columbus and Cincinnati have filed a lawsuit in an attempt to stop new charges from appearing on electric bills next year created through HB6, which is at the heart of an alleged corruption scandal. Federal prosecutors say a bribery scheme helped get HB6 passed into law. The bill,… Read More
MONROE COUNTY, Ohio (OVR) — Ohio environmental regulators have canceled key permits needed for an underground natural gas liquids storage facility proposed along the Ohio River. According to an order from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, permits to drill three three Class III solution mining wells in Monroe County, Ohio were cancelled on Sept…. Read More