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

Environmental regulations didn’t cause coal’s decline — and rollbacks won’t save it.

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017 | Posted by Elizabeth E. Payne | No Comments

Despite his repeated promises to do so, President Trump is unlikely to revive the coal industry through federal policy, and CEOs of electric utilities and coal mining companies know it. [ More ]

Appalachian Voices marches for science

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017 | Posted by Elizabeth E. Payne | No Comments

Despite chilly winds and rain, Appalachian Voices' staff members and volunteers spanned out across the region last weekend to "March for Science" with thousands of others in D.C., Charlottesville and Asheville. [ 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 ]

Senate confirms Scott Pruitt to lead EPA

Friday, February 17th, 2017 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments

As expected, the Senate has confirmed former Oklahoma attorney general and walking conflict of interest Scott Pruitt to be the next administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. If President Trump still plans to cripple the EPA, as he repeatedly promised during his campaign, the man to lead that effort begins work on Monday. [ More ]

The “Fox Guarding the Henhouse” cabinet

Monday, January 16th, 2017 | Posted by Molly Moore | No Comments

Many of Donald Trump's Cabinet appointees take positions that threaten public health, air and water quality, and our natural heritage, and that accelerate climate change. Appalachian Voices is joining with clean energy advocates, climate activists and public health proponents across the country in urging the Senate to stand for our health and environment and reject these nominees. [ More ]

Southwest Virginians speak out against Doe Branch Mine

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016 | Posted by Willie Dodson | No Comments

“God gave us the water so we can stay clean, and so we can drink it. I don’t want poison in the water.” Those are the words of 6-year-old Levi Marney, spoken to representatives of the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy at a public meeting about the proposed Doe Branch mountaintop removal mine in Haysi. [ More ]

How coal ash impacts civil rights

Monday, April 18th, 2016 | Posted by Sarah Kellogg | No Comments

Residents of Walnut Cove, N.C., have fought for years to win justice for community members who have been harmed by coal ash pollution at the nearby Belews Creek power plant. In response to the interest in the threats posed by coal ash expressed by the North Carolina Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, the Walnut Cove community showed up in a big way. [ More ]

SCOTUS pauses the Clean Power Plan, for now

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments

After a setback dealt by the U.S. Supreme Court, it’s imperative that decision makers in our region understand the opportunities presented by the Clean Power Plan rather than falsely attacking it as the cause of the coal industry’s hard times. [ More ]

A winning approach for the Clean Power Plan in Virginia

Thursday, January 14th, 2016 | Posted by Hannah Wiegard | No Comments

A new study shows that, in complying with the federal Clean Power Plan, Virginia should prioritize renewable energy and energy efficiency and allow for participation in carbon trading with other states in order to boost economic activity, cut electricity costs, and safeguard healthy air. Such an approach could yield more than $25 million a year for economic development efforts in Southwest Virginia. [ 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 ]

NC DEQ’s blatant bid for control

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015 | Posted by Ridge Graham | No Comments

Over the past few months, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality has seemed determined to have complete environmental regulatory control with little regard for federal or public input. In this endeavor, DEQ has taken every chance to highlight how external forces, including citizens groups and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, are simply getting in its way. [ More ]

EPA limits coal plants’ toxic discharges. Finally.

Thursday, October 1st, 2015 | Posted by Amy Adams | No Comments

Finally, the EPA is taking action on cleaning up toxic wastewater discharges from the nation's power plants. A new rule out this week updates standards from 32 years ago, which virtually granted license to utilities to discharge unlimited toxins into streams, rivers and lakes. [ More ]