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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Coal slurry spill in West Virginia linked to Alpha Natural Resources affiliate

March 2017 coal slurry spill in Boone County, W.Va.  Photo by Erin Savage

A coal slurry spill on March 23, 2017, leaked approximately 5,400 gallons of coal slurry into Crooked Run, a tributary of the Coal River. The processing plant in Boone County, W.Va., where the spill originated is affiliated with Alpha Natural Resources.

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Trump’s pick for Commerce has troubled history in coal

Creative Commons, copyright Palm Beach Daily News.

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.

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Federal Support for Clean Energy Financing and other shorts

Federal support for clean energy financing, carbon emissions from coal mine drainage, new pollution controls for a proposed natural gas plant and more short stories.

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States Consider Cuts to Mine Safety, Coal Taxes

Legislation in Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia related to mine safety laws and coal taxation policies is showing how far Appalachian lawmakers will go in attempts to sustain the ailing industry.

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Response to Spill Leads to Action Against Coal Polluter

Acid mine drainage from a coal mine flooded into Pine Creek in eastern Kentucky, killing wildlife and raising concerns over drinking water safety. Photo by Tarence Ray

Our Appalachian Water Watch team was able to document the spill of acidic water on Pine Creek as it occurred in real-time, spurring public outcry and state action against the mining company.

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Historic Clean Water Act Settlement in KY

Following a five-year legal battle regarding thousands of violations of the Clean Water Act, Appalachian Voices and our partners finalized a settlement with Frasure Creek Mining and the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet in December.

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West Virginia Communities Still at Risk Despite Idled Mines

Map layer courtesy West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, design by Haley Rogers

West Virginia communities, including Naoma and Sundial are still dealing with problems related to mountaintop removal coal mining. Toxic coal slurry impoundments, increased blasting and diminished water quality are among the challenges facing such communities at risk.

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Coal Company Accused of Intimidating Whistleblowers

The U.S. Department of Labor has cited Murray Energy Corp. for violations after it sought to retaliate against miners who made complaints anonymously.

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Ozone Regulations, Miner Health Care, Coal’s Decline

News briefs from across the energy sector.

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