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 ]

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 ]

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 ]

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 ]

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 ]

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 ]

Ison Rock Ridge and land ownership in Appalachia

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015 | Posted by Adam Wells | 1 Comment

Earlier this summer, our friends at Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards celebrated the defeat of a proposed mountaintop removal mine along Ison Rock Ridge in Southwest Virginia. But although the imminent threat of mining is past, the land on Ison Rock Ridge is still owned by an absentee landholding company in the business of leasing out tracts to coal operators for mountaintop removal. [ More ]

EIA: Mountaintop removal coal production down

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments

The U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) published a blog post today showing that coal produced by mountaintop removal mining in Central Appalachia decreased by 62 percent between 2008 and 2014. Demand for Central Appalachian coal will continue to decline, making further progress inevitable. But we won't end mountaintop removal by relying on the market alone. [ More ]

Appalachian legislators give POWER+ the cold shoulder

Friday, June 26th, 2015 | Posted by Adam Wells | 1 Comment

economyVirginia’s coal-bearing counties would directly benefit from the adoption of the POWER+ plan, a proposal in the Obama administration’s 2016 budget that would direct more than a billion dollars to Central Appalachia. But budget bills passed out of both houses of Congress weaken or include no mention of the POWER+ Plan. [ More ]



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