The Front Porch Blog, with Updates from AppalachiaThe Front Porch Blog, with Updates from Appalachia



Central Appalachia’s newest coal boss facing bankruptcies

Monday, December 10th, 2018 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

Virginia businessman Tom Clarke's foray into the coal industry initially looked promising for addressing environmental and community problems. Now, however, his business model is looking questionable. [ More ]


Coal industry sees bankruptcies and exports in volatile 2018

Monday, November 26th, 2018 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

Some coal companies appear to be banking on opportunities for short-term gain with metallurgical coal, but the metallurgical market can only prop up the industry for so long. [ More ]


Still on hold: Few answers on review of mountaintop removal health impacts

Wednesday, March 7th, 2018 | Posted by Erin Savage | 3 Comments

More than a year into the Trump administration, a director for the Office of Surface Mining has yet to be confirmed. And it's unlikely that Trump's pro-coal pick will reinstate a review of the human health impacts of mountaintop removal. [ More ]


5 graphs explain coal in Trump’s first year

Thursday, February 1st, 2018 | Posted by Erin Savage | 5 Comments

The Trump administration claims an uptick in coal production shows its anti-regulatory agenda is working — ignoring the fact 2017 was an outlier and coal's long-term trend is downward. Meanwhile, coal communities across the country need better policies now to help diversify their local economies. [ More ]


The National Mining Association doesn’t speak for coal communities

Thursday, October 5th, 2017 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

The National Mining Association shrugged when a review of research linking mountaintop removal to human health impacts was halted. But the NMA does not speak for coal communities. [ More ]


West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice fights for coal — at any cost

Monday, September 11th, 2017 | Posted by Erin Savage | 1 Comment

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice clearly favors Central Appalachian coal — it’s largely how he made his fortune after all. It's less clear whether Justice is thinking about Central Appalachian people or the future of the region. [ More ]


White House halts review of mountaintop removal health impacts

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

The U.S. Department of the Interior ordered the National Academy of Sciences to halt its review of the links between mountaintop removal coal mining and human health impacts. [ More ]


Citizens discuss environmental threats and economic priorities during Congressman’s visit

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

People from coal-impacted communities across Central Appalachia recently gathered in Wise County, Va., to share their concerns and ideas with U.S. Representative Raúl Grijalva. [ More ]


Coal slurry spill in West Virginia linked to Alpha Natural Resources affiliate

Thursday, April 20th, 2017 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

A coal slurry spill on March 23, 2017, leaked approximately 5,400 gallons of coal slurry into Crooked Run, a tributary of the Coal River. The processing plant in Boone County, W.Va., where the spill originated is affiliated with Alpha Natural Resources. [ More ]


Fighting for clean water after the Stream Protection Rule

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

When Congress voted last week to overturn the Stream Protection Rule, people braced themselves for the coming impacts. But threats to public water from corporate and political interests are nothing new in Central Appalachia, nor is the problem unique to this area. In the face of these threats, communities fighting for clean water need our continued support. [ More ]


Final Stream Protection Rule released

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

On Monday, the U.S. Department of the Interior released the Stream Protection Rule, which aims to protect streams from the impacts of surface and longwall mining. The final rule offers only modest improvements to protections for public waterways, but it is well worth defending from congressional attack. [ More ]


Trump’s pick for Commerce has troubled history in coal

Monday, December 5th, 2016 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

Wilbur Ross -- a man who helmed a large Kentucky coal company with a troubled history of environmental and miner safety violations -- has been chosen to be the next U.S. Secretary of Commerce. If President-elect Trump truly believes that economic growth and opportunity can only be gained at the expense of worker safety, community health and clean water, he could make no better pick than Ross. [ More ]