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 ]

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 ]

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 ]

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 ]

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 ]

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 ]

Appalachian Regional Commission receives citizen input

Thursday, June 18th, 2015 | Posted by AV's Intern Team | 1 Comment

Subregions_2009_MapOn June 4, the Appalachian Regional Commission held one of its five 2016-2020 Strategic Plan Listening Sessions in Morehead, Ky. The session successfully facilitated the sharing of ideas by Appalachian stakeholders that will inform the commission’s plan for improving economic opportunities in communities across the region. [ More ]

Another challenge facing coal: Cleaning up

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments

Harlan Mine 4_12_13_400wFrom The Appalachian Voice Online: Yet another aspect of the financial perils facing U.S. coal companies is coming into full view. As even some of the nation's largest coal producers run the risk of caving under their debts, regulators and analysts are voicing urgent concerns about cash-strapped companies' ability to pay for reclamation land after mining. [ More ]



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