Understanding the Stream Protection Rule

Friday, October 23rd, 2015 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

While the draft Stream Protection Rule is far from perfect, it is a long overdue update to protections for surface and groundwater from mountaintop removal coal mining. Not surprisingly, the coal industry had relied on “war on coal” talking points to fight against the rule, and claims these protections are unnecessary and will undermine an otherwise viable industry. Let’s examine those claims. [ More ]

N.C. General Assembly restricts local governments on fracking

Monday, October 19th, 2015 | Posted by AV's Intern Team | No Comments

In the final hours of the legislative session, the N.C. General Assembly approved Senate Bill 119, which contains a provision that invalidates local ordinances put in place to restrict fracking. The provision was added just days after commissioners in Stokes County approved a three-year moratorium on oil and gas operations in the county. [ More ]

White House POWER Initiative grants awarded

Thursday, October 15th, 2015 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments

Efforts to increase employment, and develop and diversify the economies of historically coal-reliant communities just received a major boost. Earlier today, the White House announced $14.5 million in grant awards to organizations and projects occurring across 12 states. A majority of the three dozen awards, and most of the grant dollars, are going to plan or implement projects in Central Appalachia. [ 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 ]

Citizen stories counter coal industry deception

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015 | Posted by Willie Dodson | No Comments

Citizens and clean water advocates used a series of hearings on the proposed Stream Protection Rule to demand improvements to the draft version and call out state agencies for repeatedly failing to enforce regulations already on the books. Coal industry representatives, on the other hand, relied on "war on coal" rhetoric and deception to rally against the rule. [ More ]

DENR is a “BOOR”

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015 | Posted by Amy Adams | No Comments

The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources is acting like--to use its own term--a "bureaucratic object of resistance." The agency's creative interpretation of its mission statement is just one reflection of the McCrory administration’s broader hostility to the notion that public servants have a responsibility to protect the natural resources and therefore the public health and welfare of the Tar Heel state. [ 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 ]

Sen. Kaine notes concerns to FERC about Mountain Valley Pipeline

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015 | Posted by Guest Contributor | 1 Comment

Guest Contributor Dr. Diana Christopulos: Sen. Tim Kaine recently completed a series of listening sessions in communities where Mountain Valley Pipeline proposes to build a 42-inch natural gas transmission line, meeting with “affected property owners, local elected officials, local businesses, farmers, organizations dedicated to preserving our natural resources, and numerous other concerned citizens.” [ More ]

Predictable politics giving way to popular support for POWER+

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments

In Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee, cities and counties with long histories of coal mining are advocating for the POWER+ Plan, a federal budget initiative proposed by the White House to build a more diverse economy in the communities hardest hit by the regional coal industry’s decline. They deserve to be heard. [ More ]

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 ]

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 ]

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 ]


 

 

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