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



Progress on healthcare for miners with black lung disease

Wednesday, December 18th, 2019 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

Congress reinstated a tax to fund healthcare and benefits for miners with black lung and their families for 2020 — but further action is needed to extend the tax and support the fund for 10 years. [ More ]


A decision point for abandoned coal mines

Friday, September 6th, 2019 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

An accurate inventory of abandoned coal mine lands is imperative for understanding the scope of the problem, where funding needs to be directed, and how much funding is necessary. [ More ]


Blackjewel’s bankruptcy looks like bad news for workers and mine cleanup

Wednesday, July 10th, 2019 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

Appalachia's latest coal bankruptcy looks different than others — mines shut down immediately and paychecks were clawed back from employees' bank accounts. We take a look at what the Blackjewel and Revelation Energy bankruptcy could mean for mine land reclamation. [ More ]


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 ]