Brian is an environmental news junkie concerned with our lagging energy policy and revealing the true cost of coal on our health, the environment and the climate. He is Appalachian Voices' Program and Development Communications Coordinator.
Thursday, April 14th, 2016 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments
While the company no longer operates in Central Appalachia, the story of Peabody Energy’s downfall is similar to those of major producers in the region, where coal mining communities have plenty of first-hand experience with what happens next. [ More ]
Friday, April 8th, 2016 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments
The coverage of Blankenship’s sentence should shift the public’s focus to the leniency and lacking enforcement of our mine safety laws. Since few observers outside of Blankenship’s defense team and the “Dark Lord of Coal Country” himself would argue the punishment fits his crime, the question then becomes: what punishment would?
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Tuesday, March 8th, 2016 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 3 Comments
State officials in North Carolina owe citizens an apology and an explanation. The state Department of Environmental Quality and Department of Health and Human Services are walking back their own recommendations that families living near coal ash ponds not drink or cook using well water containing levels of toxic substances that exceed their own standards.
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Tuesday, March 1st, 2016 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 2 Comments
Over the weekend, a letter by our Executive Director Tom Cormons to the editors of The New York Times appeared on the newspaper’s website. It was penned in part to stress the importance of the Stream Protection Rule and to urge federal regulators to stand firm in the face of industry opposition, and finalize it. [ More ]
Wednesday, February 10th, 2016 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments
After a setback dealt by the U.S. Supreme Court, it’s imperative that decision makers in our region understand the opportunities presented by the Clean Power Plan rather than falsely attacking it as the cause of the coal industry’s hard times. [ More ]
Tuesday, February 9th, 2016 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 1 Comment
This morning, President Obama sent his plan for the federal government’s expenses during fiscal year 2017 to Congress. It lays out the president’s vision for spending on everything from clean energy to cancer research. We’re happy to announce that the POWER+ Plan is included.
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Thursday, January 28th, 2016 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments
From Appalachian Voices' Press Room: Earlier this week, a wide array of Virginia leaders released a letter asking Governor Terry McAuliffe to reject efforts by Dominion Power that would increase carbon pollution in the Commonwealth. [ More ]
Tuesday, January 26th, 2016 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 1 Comment
Witnessing the one-sidedness of coal bankruptcies in Appalachia and their aftershocks goes to show who has a voice and whose voices the system values. Take Alpha Natural Resources, which recently received approval to pay its executives millions in bonuses despite not having made a profit since 2011. [ More ]
Friday, January 8th, 2016 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments
After the dismal year coal had in 2015, more hard times for the industry are ahead. Nowhere is the struggle more real than in Central Appalachia. A new white paper from Downstream Strategies tells the story of Appalachian coal over the past few decades in five simple charts. [ More ]
Thursday, December 3rd, 2015 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments
After a six-week-long trial that included 27 witnesses and hundreds of exhibits, followed by a week and a half of dramatic deliberations, Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship has been found guilty of conspiring to violate federal mine safety laws.
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Thursday, December 3rd, 2015 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 1 Comment
Yesterday, a group of student leaders in eastern Kentucky took a commendable step in support of Central Appalachia's youth and economic future. By a unanimous vote, the Appalachian Renaissance Initiative Student Senate passed a resolution of support for the Obama administration's POWER+ Plan. [ More ]
Friday, November 6th, 2015 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments
From Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s perspective, it’s probably best to just keep a lid on what state officials say publicly about controversial natural gas pipelines proposed to cut through the state. But among opponents of the pipelines, the administration’s actions are only deepening skepticism of the governor and his relationship with the projects' primary backers. [ More ]