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



Drinking water problems still plague eastern Kentucky

Friday, May 6th, 2016 | Posted by Tarence Ray | 5 Comments

After a nearby creek ran bright yellow last month, residents of Martin County, Ky., still have questions for local and state officials — and that’s not uncommon in a county that has seen its fair share of coal slurry spills and municipal water problems. So why are so many officials ignoring the problem? [ More ]


What happened on Pine Creek?

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016 | Posted by Tarence Ray | 3 Comments

A lot of folks have had questions about last month's mine blowout on Pine Creek, in Letcher County, Ky. So we’ve put together an explainer that runs through the facts, the science and the regulatory protocols behind spills like this — and offers tips on what you can do about them. [ More ]


Coal, Congress and the art of lying

Monday, January 11th, 2016 | Posted by Tarence Ray | 1 Comment

It’s amazing how much work goes into stretching the truth. It’s even more amazing when media outlets and political leaders latch onto that “truth” and peddle it without scrutiny. A recent and relevant example: an economic impact analysis of the Stream Protection Rule, commissioned by the National Mining Association. [ More ]


Coal’s death knell in Kentucky

Monday, January 4th, 2016 | Posted by Tarence Ray | No Comments

The final months of 2015 may prove to be a historic moment for Kentucky’s politics and the state’s struggling coal industry. But it remains to be seen how the industry will maintain its political power in the Bluegrass State. [ More ]


West Virginia Communities Still at Risk Despite Idled Mines

Monday, December 28th, 2015 | Posted by Tarence Ray | No Comments

From The Appalachian Voice: West Virginia communities are still dealing with problems related to mountaintop removal coal mining. Toxic coal slurry impoundments, increased blasting and diminished water quality are among the challenges facing such communities at risk. [ More ]


Thank God for our Kentucky newspapers

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015 | Posted by Tarence Ray | No Comments

Local newspapers in Kentucky have helped expose state regulators' lax treatment of industry, most recently in the form of a secretive deal stuck with an oil company responsible for polluting drinking water supplies. But sadly, Kentucky's politicians and agencies aren't shy in revealing whose interests they truly serve either. [ More ]


Peculiar Patriot Coal deal raises questions

Thursday, August 20th, 2015 | Posted by Tarence Ray | 1 Comment

What would a health care executive-turned-environmentalist want with the dying business of mining coal? That’s the question some are asking after the announcement that a Virginia environmentalist plans to acquire assets, and assume around $400 million in liabilities, from recently-bankrupt Patriot Coal. [ More ]


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 ]