U.S. coal giant Alpha Natural Resources files for bankruptcy

Friday, August 7th, 2015 | Posted by Jamie Goodman | No Comments

Alpha Natural Resources, one of the largest coal mining companies in the United States and a big player in the Appalachian coal market, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday of this week, blaming "an unprecedented period of distress with increased competition from natural gas, an oversupply in the global coal market, historically low prices due to weaker international and domestic economies, and increasing government regulation that has pushed electric utilities to transition away from coal-fired power plants. [ More ]

Tennessee Clean Energy Jobs Booming

Thursday, August 6th, 2015 | Posted by Amy Kelly | No Comments

According to a new report from Environmental Entrepreneurs, Tennessee is seeing clean energy job growth at nearly three times the rate of overall state employment growth. With the Clean Power Plan final rule released on Monday, the Volunteer state has an opportunity to not only spur job growth in renewable energy, but also adhere to the Clean Power Plan’s guidelines for reducing carbon emissions. [ More ]

Obama Administration releases final version of the Clean Power Plan

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015 | Posted by Jamie Goodman | No Comments

This week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released the final version of the Clean Power Plan, the first-ever national rule limiting carbon pollution from existing power plants to safeguard public health and help address climate disruption. [ 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 ]

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 | 6 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 ]



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