From The Appalachian Voice Online: As one of the most high-profile and hyped-up projects of its kind, the FutureGen “clean coal” plant in Illinois was supposed make history. So the announcement that the U.S. Department of Energy is backing out of its $1.1 billion funding promise to the project sent a shockwave through the coal sector and investors, energy analysts and environmentalists all took note.
The first federal regulations governing the disposal of toxic coal ash passed in December 2014. The rule provides some safeguards, but environmental advocates aren’t reassured. And in North Carolina, more than a year after the Dan River coal ash spill, communities living near the waste are still concerned about the pollution’s effects.
History provides a sense of place. Increasingly, communities are building their own place in history, and finding that preserving the past and marketing it to visitors can also provide a boost in the present.
Some cherish wood heat as a renewable, inexpensive energy source that offsets fossil fuel use, but wood stoves have been under fire in recent years for smoke pollution. Despite their smoky reputation, wood stoves can be an efficient, low-impact heating source when operated and maintained correctly.
Appalachia’s triumphs and tragedies, its beauty and mystery, and its people’s tenacity, love and good humor have long been enshrined in fiction. This year, the stories of the region’s struggles with coal are reaching a national audience thanks to two powerful new novels.
In the 1920s, regional musicians often jammed together in Bristol while waiting for the next train. Those sounds were recorded during the now-famous Bristol Sessions, and now a new museum pays homage to the living legacy of country music.
A plastic tube winds through the Dunlaps’ front room to a door covered in red plastic sheeting. It’s the first step in a process to make this drafty home warmer and more efficient through smart investments in air-sealing and insulation.
The lake sturgeon is the largest and longest-living freshwater fish native to the southeastern United States. In evolutionary terms, this primitive fish has changed little since it swam among dinosaurs, but its continued survival was in doubt until recently.
At the end of 2014, several regional land trusts finalized a host of easements, conserving views, habitats and cultural sites across the Appalachian Mountains.
By Dac Collins Self-publishing is on the rise in today’s progressive literary scene, and quite a few writers in Appalachia have foregone the traditional process of submitting their work to publishers in favor of publishing it themselves. Julie E. Calestro-McDonald…