Blog Archives

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

Now that he's in office, President Trump's promises to coal are colliding with the reality of the market forces shaping the industry's future. Photo via Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons.

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.

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Get out the sunscreen: Solar is coming to Southwest Virginia

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The Southwest Virginia Solar Fair on May 9 in Wise, Va., will be a celebration of the upcoming solar development in Southwest Virginia and brings an emerging and exciting effort full circle.

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White House budget leaves Appalachia in the dust

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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.

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FERC’s pipeline review process is broken

As new research refutes industry's pro-pipeline arguments, former FERC chairman Norman Bay is calling for greater scrutiny of proposed natural gas infrastructure projects.

It’s no secret: oil and gas pipelines have captured the nation’s attention, not to mention the new administration’s. But new research is refuting the industry’s pro-pipeline arguments and even a former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is calling for greater scrutiny of proposed natural gas infrastructure projects.

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Protect natural resources for Southwest Virginia’s future

Ron Short

For all my life, the coal economy has ruled this region and its people,” writes Ron Short of Danville, Va., in a letter supporting the Stream Protection Rule. “Now we are facing the demise of the coal industry, and we must save the valuable natural resources that we have left if we are ever to develop cultural tourism and eco-tourism as important parts of a new economy that works for everyone.”

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Fighting for clean water after the Stream Protection Rule

A valley fill beneath a mountaintop removal mine in eastern Kentucky. The Stream Protection Rule would have limited the practice.

When Congress voted last week to overturn the Stream Protection Rule, people braced themselves for the coming impacts. But threats to public water from corporate and political interests are nothing new in Central Appalachia, nor is the problem unique to this area. In the face of these threats, communities fighting for clean water need our continued support.

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Defending our vision for Appalachia

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In our view, the new administration’s approach to environmental protection and national energy policy is dangerously shortsighted. We will do everything we can to see that the laws protecting our natural heritage and the communities of Appalachia are enforced, and not be distracted from our vision for a healthy, sustainable future for our region and beyond. We know you’ll stand with us during this uncertain time.

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Final Stream Protection Rule released

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On Monday, the U.S. Department of the Interior released the Stream Protection Rule, which aims to protect streams from the impacts of surface and longwall mining. The final rule offers only modest improvements to protections for public waterways, but it is well worth defending from congressional attack.

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Duke Energy’s empire grows with natural gas

The pivot toward gas is especially pronounced in the eastern U.S., with Duke at the forefront of a historic fuel switch.

Duke Energy’s purchase of Piedmont Natural Gas was finalized this week after North Carolina utility regulators signed off on the deal. The acquisition is only the latest development in a regionwide push to expand natural gas investments and infrastructure that foreshadows an energy future experts are urging us to avoid.

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Making sense of crisis: The West Virginia floods

Photos courtesy of Nate May.

In this guest post, West Virginia resident and former coordinator of The Alliance for Appalachia Katey Lauer shares her perspective on the aftermath of the storms and the humanity she witnessed as communities come together and begin to rebuild.

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