Coal, Congress and the art of lying

Monday, January 11th, 2016 | Posted by Tarence Ray | 1 Comment

It’s amazing how much work goes into stretching the truth. It’s even more amazing when media outlets and political leaders latch onto that “truth” and peddle it without scrutiny. A recent and relevant example: an economic impact analysis of the Stream Protection Rule, commissioned by the National Mining Association. [ 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 ]

Budget holds promise for Central Appalachia

Friday, December 18th, 2015 | Posted by Thom Kay | 1 Comment

Today the U.S. Congress passed a spending bill that covers expenditures for agencies including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of the Interior, Department of Labor, and the Appalachian Regional Commission. The spending bill is a big deal for Appalachian Voices and our work. And honestly, it looks pretty darn good. [ More ]

An end to Frasure Creek’s water violations in Kentucky — finally

Thursday, December 10th, 2015 | Posted by Erin Savage | 1 Comment

Late Monday evening, Appalachian Voices and our partners finalized a historic settlement in our case against Frasure Creek Mining. The settlement follows a five-year-long legal battle to protect eastern Kentucky’s waterways and bring a coal company notorious for violating environmental laws to justice. [ 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 ]

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 ]

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 ]


 

 

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