A moment of truth for Kentucky’s coal regulators

Thursday, July 30th, 2015 | Posted by Tarence Ray | No Comments

A striking case of corruption related to mine inspections in Kentucky led to the recent criminal conviction of former Democratic state representative Keith Hall. But questions remain about how deep the conspiracy goes. Will Governor Steve Beshear and the state agencies that enforce mining laws in Kentucky adequately investigate? [ More ]

Virginia city first to support POWER+

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015 | Posted by Adam Wells | No Comments

Welcome to Norton6The City of Norton, in southwest Virginia, has voted unanimously to support a federal budget proposal that would steer billions of dollars for economic development to coal-impacted communities, including in Virginia. It’s the first such local resolution in the nation supporting the White House's “POWER+ Plan." Appalachian Voices championed the resolution with Norton's leaders and commends them for leading the way on this vital issue. [ More ]

Stream “protection” rule falls short

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015 | Posted by Tom Cormons | 5 Comments

The Obama administration says its draft rule, released last week, to mitigate the water quality impacts of surface coal mining represents a “balanced approach to energy development.” But there’s nothing balanced about blowing the tops off ancient mountains and jeopardizing the health of thousands of Americans. [ More ]

Ginseng’s growing role in the new Appalachian economy

Monday, July 20th, 2015 | Posted by Adam Wells | 4 Comments

Most people who live in the mountains know that just being here can have a healing effect on the soul. But not as many people know that many native plants have real medicinal properties. Growing and marketing those wild medicinal plants and herbs was the subject of a recent workshop offered by the group AppalCEED in Norton, Va. [ More ]

Virginians’ electric bills could shrink under Clean Power Plan

Monday, July 20th, 2015 | Posted by Hannah Wiegard | No Comments

A report by Public Citizen’s Climate Program details how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's soon-to-be finalized standards on carbon pollution could lower Virginians' power bills. The strategy for achieving this benefit is simple: invest in cost-effective energy efficiency programs first. [ More ]

How much progress are we making on ending mountaintop removal?

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

Last week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration pointed to a steep decline in coal produced by mountaintop removal mining. But a closer examination of the data calls into question the adequacy of the legal definition of “mountaintop removal” and, more importantly, demonstrates that much more work is needed to truly end destructive mining practices in Central Appalachia. [ More ]

Eliminating poverty housing with efficient and alternative energy use

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015 | Posted by Eliza Laubach | 1 Comment

When North Carolina’s Ashe County Habitat for Humanity formed five years ago, seven people came together to study how to best build a home. They made a commitment not only to affordability, but also to energy savings, and the board voted to build all Ashe County Habitat houses to maximize efficiency and place an emphasis on alternative forms of energy. [ More ]

Turning down the heat: A collaborative effort to reduce energy bills

Friday, July 10th, 2015 | Posted by Rory McIlmoil | No Comments

Extreme temperatures can send electric utility bills skyrocketing across most of North Carolina and place high demands on the state’s electric utility infrastructure. Fortunately, proven models exist that expand access to financing for energy efficiency improvements for everybody, including those who may not qualify for loans under traditional underwriting criteria. [ More ]

A “golden opportunity” in disguise

Thursday, July 9th, 2015 | Posted by Cat McCue | 2 Comments

AML reportIn 2013, federal funds derived from a per-ton fee on mined coal were distributed to Central Appalachia states for restoring abandoned mine lands. The result was $182 million in economic benefit and 1,317 jobs--plus cleaner streams, and a healthier future for nearby residents. A new report out shows how the federal program should be fixed to yield even better results, and sooner. [ More ]

Ison Rock Ridge and land ownership in Appalachia

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015 | Posted by Adam Wells | No Comments

Earlier this summer, our friends at Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards celebrated the defeat of a proposed mountaintop removal mine along Ison Rock Ridge in Southwest Virginia. But although the imminent threat of mining is past, the land on Ison Rock Ridge is still owned by an absentee landholding company in the business of leasing out tracts to coal operators for mountaintop removal. [ More ]

EIA: Mountaintop removal coal production down

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments

The U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) published a blog post today showing that coal produced by mountaintop removal mining in Central Appalachia decreased by 62 percent between 2008 and 2014. Demand for Central Appalachian coal will continue to decline, making further progress inevitable. But we won't end mountaintop removal by relying on the market alone. [ More ]

“It’s just vitamins!” Industry confuses residents on coal ash safety

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015 | Posted by Sandra Diaz | 2 Comments

Duke Energy and the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources continue to confound and confuse families that have the unfortunate luck of living in close proximity to the utility’s coal ash lagoons. So citizens and county officials are stepping in to help residents air their frustrations and, hopefully, to receive some answers. [ More ]


 

 

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