I heard it through the pipeline

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 ]

Gov. McCrory signs “Polluter Protection Act”

Monday, October 26th, 2015 | Posted by Amy Adams | 3 Comments

Late last Friday afternoon, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law H765, the "Regulatory Reform Act of 2015." This massive reform bill should be called "The Polluter Protection Act" with its plethora of anti-environmental provisions, rollbacks and giveaways to industry. So, just how bad is this bill? [ More ]

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 ]

Follow the leader: A Tennessee electric co-op moves forward

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015 | Posted by Amy Kelly | No Comments

As one rural electric cooperative in Appalachia expands clean energy and technology, other utilities in the region can learn from its example of leadership. Appalachian Electric Cooperative is launching a community solar program, conducting a feasibility study for fiber optic internet and leading the way forward for rural energy efficiency programs in Tennessee. [ 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 ]

Appalachian Millennials and social media in Wyoming County

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015 | Posted by Guest Contributor | No Comments

Guest Contributor Donald Welch: The Rural Appalachian Improvement League encourages plenty of groups to visit the Mullens, W.Va., area to volunteer. But, as an organization focused on sustainability and creating social change in southern West Virginia, the group also uses social media to engage youth and create opportunities for local residents. [ 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 ]

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 ]



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