The case of Republic Energy makes it clear that the deck is still stacked in favor of the coal industry. But that has never dissuaded Coal River Mountain Watch from challenging the industry and the agencies that enable it.
The Trump administration officially ended a federal study that would have reviewed the human health impacts of living near mountaintop removal coal mining.
A recent report by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy highlights why energy efficiency should be a key part of the conversation about public health.
More than a year into the Trump administration, a director for the Office of Surface Mining has yet to be confirmed. And it’s unlikely that Trump’s pro-coal pick will reinstate a review of the human health impacts of mountaintop removal.
The Clean Power Plan represented a historic if modest step toward curbing carbon pollution and accelerating the transition to cleaner energy nationwide. Repealing the rule is a historic step backward.
The National Mining Association shrugged when a review of research linking mountaintop removal to human health impacts was halted. But the NMA does not speak for coal communities.
The Clearfork Valley of Tennessee has been intensely surface-mined going back decades. Now, Kopper Glo Mining is moving forward with a nearly 1,500-acre mountaintop removal mine on nearby Cooper Ridge.
Diagnoses of the most severe form of black lung disease, known as progressive massive fibrosis, are on the rise in Appalachia. The causes of this deadly trend aren’t entirely clear, though it may be linked to the silica rock dust associated with thinner layers of coal.
Extracting coal and natural gas is linked to a range of health problems in Appalachia, including shorter life expectancies.
Changes in federal health policy could leave even more residents without adequate access to healthcare — and increase the number of patients who rely on nonprofit safety net clinics. In Southwest Virginia, the grassroots group We Care aims to create more dialogue between the public and legislators about the healthcare system.