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Tobacco commission approves energy research projects

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The Virginia Tobacco Commission approved establishing two energy research centers in Abingdon and Wise County. The Southwest Virginia Clean Energy Research and Development Center in Abingdon will focus on carbon sequestration research. The Appalachia America Energy Research Center in Wise will study converting coal to liquid fuels for solar power, hydrogen gas and coal gasification. (Bristol Herald Courier)

The director of the newly created Federal Housing Finance Agency told his employees Thursday that they would have a tough time regulating mortgage finance companies Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and that it would need to hire more staff. The agency, created under federal housing law President Bush signed this week, combined three agencies. (The Washington Post

Despite a sluggish economy, Prince William County home sales are soaring. It appears price drops have made the Northern Virginia county more affordable. (The Washington Post)

Home construction is down in Hampton Roads.  (The Virginian-Pilot)

Earnings

Richmond coal producer Massey Energy Co. posted a $93 million loss in the second quarter because of a lawsuit settlement over a contract dispute with Wheeling Pittsburgh Steel. Without the lawsuit, net income for the quarter would have been $92.2 million, the company said. (The Associated Press


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