Blog Archives

Gov. Jim Justice’s Barren Mine Lands and Unpaid Taxes

Gov. Jim Justice

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice made nearly $2 billion off Appalachia’s coalfields, but his family’s mines owe back taxes in multiple states. They have also accrued hundreds of environmental violations, and many idled mines are still unreclaimed.

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Exports and Bankruptcies Mark Volatile Year for Coal

Although Central Appalachian coal production has seen a slight rebound since 2016, it may be short-lived due to export and transportation costs. Additionally, two coal companies filed for bankruptcy last fall.

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Funding for Black Lung Benefits Halved

complicated black lung disease

A tax on coal companies funding benefits for former miners with black lung disease was halved at the first of the year.

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Five Years after Dan River: Coal Ash in N.C.

The Dan River coal ash spill sparked a flurry of coal ash cleanup legislation, public hearings, community meetings and more across North Carolina. But where does coal ash stand in the state now?

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Westmoreland Coal’s Appalachian connection

In October 2018, the oldest coal company in the United States filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. While now largely operating in the western United States, Westmoreland has many ties to Southwest Virginia.

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Citizen Science in Appalachia

kid holding beetle trap

From monitoring the health of local waterways to tracking the changing seasons, people from all walks of life are seizing the opportunity to participate in scientific projects.

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Keeping Eyes on Coal’s Impact

DJ Coker

Citizen scientists surveil water quality near active and former coal mines to hold companies accountable to the law.

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Groups File Lawsuit Against Mountaintop Removal Coal Mine in West Virginia

area at risk of mining, shown near adjacent mountaintop removal mine

Environmental groups claim in a federal lawsuit that Republic Energy is illegally operating a strip mine on Coal River Mountain by using a state permit that expired in 2011.

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Central Appalachia’s newest coal boss facing bankruptcies

Virginia businessman Tom Clarke’s foray into the coal industry initially looked promising for addressing environmental and community problems. Now, however, his business model is looking questionable.

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Coal industry sees bankruptcies and exports in volatile 2018

central appalachian coal production graph

Some coal companies appear to be banking on opportunities for short-term gain with metallurgical coal, but the metallurgical market can only prop up the industry for so long.

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