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

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 ]

White House budget leaves Appalachia in the dust

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017 | Posted by Thom Kay | No Comments

The White House released its budget blueprint last week, and the proposal is nothing short of a disaster for Appalachia and rural communities across the country. Here's a look at a few agencies and programs the White House wants to completely eliminate if it had its way. [ More ]

America’s miners deserve better than this; time to do your part

Thursday, December 8th, 2016 | Posted by Thom Kay | No Comments

America owes a debt to the nation’s coal miners. The Miners Protection Act would begin to pay that debt, but the opportunity for Congress to pass the bill is quickly slipping away. [ More ]

Trump’s pick for Commerce has troubled history in coal

Monday, December 5th, 2016 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

Wilbur Ross -- a man who helmed a large Kentucky coal company with a troubled history of environmental and miner safety violations -- has been chosen to be the next U.S. Secretary of Commerce. If President-elect Trump truly believes that economic growth and opportunity can only be gained at the expense of worker safety, community health and clean water, he could make no better pick than Ross. [ More ]

Protecting a unique Kentucky fish from mountaintop removal coal mining

Friday, October 7th, 2016 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

The eye-catching Kentucky arrow darter was just listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, largely due to water pollution from activities like surface coal mining. Increased protection for this rare fish will lead to healthier ecosystems and communities. [ More ]

A growing mine is a growing problem for the Russell Fork River

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

The history of the Doe Branch mine in Southwest Virginia is long and complicated, and its future remains unclear. A bankruptcy saga with the mine’s previous owner stalled development in the past year, but things appear to be getting back on track — putting the Russell Fork River at risk. [ More ]

Drinking water problems still plague eastern Kentucky

Friday, May 6th, 2016 | Posted by Tarence Ray | 3 Comments

After a nearby creek ran bright yellow last month, residents of Martin County, Ky., still have questions for local and state officials — and that’s not uncommon in a county that has seen its fair share of coal slurry spills and municipal water problems. So why are so many officials ignoring the problem? [ More ]

What happened on Pine Creek?

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016 | Posted by Tarence Ray | 3 Comments

A lot of folks have had questions about last month's mine blowout on Pine Creek, in Letcher County, Ky. So we’ve put together an explainer that runs through the facts, the science and the regulatory protocols behind spills like this — and offers tips on what you can do about them. [ More ]

From inside Appalachia, a look at WGN’s “Outsiders”

Friday, April 8th, 2016 | Posted by Guest Contributor | 11 Comments

Exclusive to the Front Porch: WGN's television series "Outsiders" doesn't leave a single stereotype of Appalachia unturned. In this essay exclusive to the Front Porch Blog, award-winning author Ron Rash reflects on how stereotypes cloak harms much more profound than cultural misperceptions: "The region is diverse, and many areas are doing well, but for those that are not, might a show focused on “retard hillbilly animals” make it easier for America to ignore the region’s needs?" [ More ]

Bleak outlook for coal in 2016

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 ]

Coal’s death knell in Kentucky

Monday, January 4th, 2016 | Posted by Tarence Ray | No Comments

The final months of 2015 may prove to be a historic moment for Kentucky’s politics and the state’s struggling coal industry. But it remains to be seen how the industry will maintain its political power in the Bluegrass State. [ More ]