U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals

Wikimedia Commons

Federal regulators have halted construction of two major natural gas pipelines that cross through Appalachia this month, following several federal court decisions.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) halted the Atlantic Coast Pipeline on Friday, Aug. 10. The agency issued a similar stop-work order earlier this month for the 303-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline. Both orders followed decisions issued by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a federal appeals court based in Richmond, Virginia.

Pipeline awaits construction.
SETH PERLMAN / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Federal regulators halted all construction of the 604-mile, interstate Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) following a federal court’s ruling this week that invalidated two major federal permits.

The Friday evening decision comes just a week after regulators issued a similar stop work order for another major interstate natural gas project, the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

streams
Alokrohith / wikimedia commons

A federal appeals court was urged Tuesday to overturn a ruling by a judge who found that the state of West Virginia has abandoned its responsibility to write cleanup plans for streams harmed by pollution from mountaintop-removal coal mining.

Don Blankenship
Joel Ebert / The Charleston Gazette-Mail

A panel of appellate judges has affirmed a ruling that sent former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship to prison.  The decision means he’ll serve out the remainder of his one-year prison term in a California penitentiary. 

Don Blankenship
Chris Tilley / AP Photo

While he appeals a decision that served him a one-year prison sentence, former coal company executive Don Blankenship has paid his $250,000 fine.

According to a U.S. District Court filing, the wealthy ex-Massey Energy CEO paid the fine in Charleston on Friday, plus a $25 court fee.

Blankenship was sentenced Wednesday to the maximum prison time and fine for conspiring to willfully violate mine safety standards at Upper Big Branch Mine.