Blog Archives

D.C. sends a ray of hope to Southwest Virginia

Citizens meet to discuss options and opportunities for the Norton Riverwalk proposal in Southwest Virginia.

Through the dark clouds of the Trump administration’s agenda for rolling back or killing off programs critical to the health of Appalachian communities and the environment, a bright spot has emerged — $10 million for repurposing old coal mines in Southwest Virginia for new economic opportunities.

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Congress includes $10 million for Southwest Virginia coal communities in spending plan

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Contact: Adam Wells, New Economy Program Manager, 276-679-1691, adam@appvoices.org Thom Kay, Senior Legislative Representative, 864-580-1843, thom.kay@appvoices.org Gerald Collins Coal Mining Engineering Services LLC, 276-220-0150, gerald1951@comcast.net Norton, Va. — A proposed federal spending bill that took shape in Congress over the

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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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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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Appalachian Voices joins coalition to legally defend stream protections, community health

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Contact: Thom Kay, Senior Legislative Representative, 864-580-1843, thom.kay [at] appvoices.org Cat McCue, Communications Director, 434-293-6373, cat [at] appvoices.org Washington DC – A coalition of local and national community and conservation groups, including Appalachian Voices, yesterday filed a motion to participate

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Congress takes aim at stream protections

Mountaintop removal coal mines like this one in W.Va. have polluted streams for years. Photo by Kent Mason.

In December, the Obama administration released the final Stream Protection Rule knowing it would be a likely top target for the incoming Republican-controlled Congress. And it is, indeed, in the crosshairs — but members of Congress should understand they’re gambling with Appalachia’s health and economic future, all for a risky bet on coal’s unlikely comeback.

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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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America’s miners deserve better than this; time to do your part

In the wake of Patriot Coal's broken promises to union miners and retirees, The United Mine Workers of America have represented their members' sense of injustice in cities and courtrooms across the region. Photo by Ann Smith, special to the UMW Journal

America owes a debt to the nation’s coal miners. The Miners Protection Act would begin to pay that debt, but the opportunity for Congress to pass the bill is quickly slipping away.

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