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

Two passionate organizers join the team

Thursday, March 19th, 2015 | Posted by Jamie Goodman | No Comments

amy_adam We’re delighted to welcome two new members to the Appalachian Voices family! Adam Wells will be serving as our Economic Diversification Campaign Coordinator in southwest Virginia, where his roots reach back six generations. Amy Kelly, who traces her roots in the Volunteer state back to the 18th century, will work with local residents to grow energy efficiency programs as our Tennessee Energy Savings Outreach Coordinator. [ More ]

Appalachian Voices and FloydFest 2015

Friday, February 27th, 2015 | Posted by Jamie Goodman | No Comments

INAV_floydfestlogo It's official --- Appalachian Voices is partnering with one of the premiere music and arts festivals in the country to spread some serious love for mountains! This year, we were chosen to be Floydfest's featured nonprofit, and together we're cooking up some fun and exciting ways to promote stewardship of the Appalachian mountains during the 5-day extravaganza. [ More ]

HBO’s “Saving My Tomorrow” to feature footage from Appalachian Voices

Friday, December 12th, 2014 | Posted by Jamie Goodman | No Comments

savingmytomorrow3 This coming Monday, HBO will premiere an entirely new documentary series that celebrates the children who will inherit the planet and their appreciation of the wonders of the natural world. A lyrical mix of science, animation, and music, "Saving My Tomorrow" is a call from kids to kids to help take care of the planet. [ More ]

Using our online Voice

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 | Posted by Jamie Goodman | No Comments

thevoice_onlineWe are delighted to announce that all the great content found in the print edition of our beloved bi-monthly publication, The Appalachian Voice, is now available on our website, through our newly revamped online presence. Before diving in to read the latest issue of The Voice online, take a moment to learn about the new features you'll find inside. [ More ]

Hail to the Chief — Lenny Kohm, 1939-2014

Monday, September 29th, 2014 | Posted by Jamie Goodman | 4 Comments

lenny_kohm [ More ]

AV Takes Part in Google’s New Maps Gallery

Thursday, February 27th, 2014 | Posted by Jamie Goodman | No Comments

Appalachian Voices was among a handful of entities invited by Google to provide maps for the Maps Gallery, which launched today. Our offerings include a map that shows how families in the Southeast pay a higher percentage of their income for electricity compared to the national average, one that shows average poverty rate by electric utility territory, and six maps that highlight the connection between mountaintop removal coal mining and poverty and health issues. In conjunction with the Maps Gallery launch, we also released a new report explaining in detail the data we pulled from to create the maps. [ More ]

Another Coal-related Spill Reported in West Virginia

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014 | Posted by Jamie Goodman | 1 Comment

patriotspill-150px Early Tuesday morning there was a significant slurry spill at Patriot Coals Kanawah Eagle operation. Over 100,000 gallons of toxic coal slurry spilled into Fields Creek near Charleston, WV. Members of the Appalachian Water Watch team were at the site to investigate. [ More ]

TAKE ACTION TODAY — Help our Friends in Clinch River Valley Get a New State Park

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014 | Posted by Jamie Goodman | No Comments

clinch-river-near-rt_-27-bridge A budget amendment has been introduced in the Virginia General Assembly requesting an initial $2.5 million for the development of a new state park in the Clinch River area. But legislators need to hear from residents TODAY (Feb. 11) that a new Click River State Park will create positive economic development in our beautiful region. Take Action NOW! [ More ]

Lost on the Road to Oblivion: Art Exhibit Focuses on the Vanishing Beauty of Coal Country

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013 | Posted by Jamie Goodman | No Comments

Galie_8billion gallons_1 For the past 18 years, photographer Carl Galie has devoted his artistic talents to conservation work, and his latest exhibit is no exception. "Lost on the Road To Oblivion: The Vanishing Beauty of Coal Country," tackles the difficult and poignant subject of mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia. The exhibit is on display at Appalachian State University's Turchin Center for the Visual Arts through Feb. 7, 2014. [ More ]

Introducing: The Toxic 20

Friday, August 10th, 2012 | Posted by Jamie Goodman | No Comments

While it’s no shock to those of us who live in the region, the facts are now out that the coal-hungry states of the grand old Southeast are among the worst for air pollution caused by coal-fired power plants.

Just yesterday, the Natural Resources Defense Council released a special report called the “Toxic 20,” a comprehensive look at the twenty most polluted states in the nation due to coal pollution.

Unsurprisingly, ALL TEN of the Central and Southern Appalachian states (as defined by the Appalachian Regional Commission) made the list, including Kentucky, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, South Carolina, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Alabama.

Other Southern states include Mississippi, Missouri, Texas, Maryland and even good old Florida (although according to BBQ lore they may not actually be a Southern state).

Without further adieu, we present:

The Toxic 20

  1. Kentucky
  2. Ohio
  3. Pennsylvania
  4. Indiana
  5. West Virginia
  6. Florida
  7. Michigan
  8. North Carolina
  9. Georgia
  10. Texas
  11. Tennessee
  12. Virginia
  13. South Carolina
  14. Alabama
  15. Missouri
  16. Illinois
  17. Mississippi
  18. Wisconsin
  19. Maryland
  20. Delaware

Read the NRDC Switchboard blog post
Read the full report

A Long Journey Across Water: Appalachian Coal Exports on the Rise, Study Says

Thursday, July 19th, 2012 | Posted by Jamie Goodman | No Comments

A fair percentage of mountaintop removal-mined Appalachian coal is apparently not staying in Appalachia. Nor the Southeast. Nor even the U.S.

As a Chinese fortune I once saw said, it’s heading for a long voyage across the great water.

According to a report prepared by the Democratic staff of the Natural Resources Committee and Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass), exports of mountaintop removal mined coal in Appalachia have exploded in the past few years, with more than 97 mountaintop removal mines in Appalachia collectively exporting 27 percent of their production in 2011 — more than doubling the export percentage from 2008.

The coal is apparently heading for places like Russia, South America, China and India.

Other highlights of the report include:

  • Coal exports from these mines in [West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Virginia] have grown by 91 percent since 2009 to 13.2 million tons in 2011.
  • Twenty-five of those mines exported more than half of their production in 2011.
  • One Russian company is exporting nearly 83 percent of the coal from three mines in West Virginia
  • Five mines are shipping 100 percent of their coal abroad

According to the Committee’s press release, the study’s results were gathered using “data from the Energy Information Administration, the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration, and included self-reported data from the mines themselves.”

The report, entitled “Our Pain, Their Gain,” seems to point to the fact that Appalachian communities, and even Appalachian miners (see Ken Ward’s post titled “Strip miners face serious black lung risks”) are being sacrificed for profit from overseas sales. But the coal industry wouldn’t think of doing that, now would it?

Or, would it?

Sadly, I think it already is.

Read the full release and report here.

North Carolina Bands with Mighty Big Hearts

Monday, April 23rd, 2012 | Posted by Jamie Goodman | No Comments

A few weeks ago, Appalachian Voices was on the happy end of a rousing night of rowdy rock and roll and vintage and alt country, thanks to the generous hearts of a few North Carolina musicians.

Molly McGinn, sultry-voiced siren from the Greensboro, N.C., collaborative band, Wurlitzer Prize, and David Brewer, the massively talented musician often fronting Americana r&r favorites Possum Jenkins, hosted a fantastic evening of music as a benefit for Appalachian Voices and our work to end mountaintop removal coal mining.


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