Politics features

Read about political actions that affect our region, and see our regular votetrackers to learn how regional legislators vote on environmental and energy issues.



The Ongoing Cleanup of Abandoned Coal Mines

February 15, 2018 A key federal mine reclamation program is up for reauthorization in 2021 — and the work is far from finished.


Coal Insider Nominated to Lead Mining Agency

December 6, 2017 The White House nominated J. Steven Gardner, who has worked in the coal industry for over four decades, to lead the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement.


Calls for Action on RECLAIM Act

December 6, 2017 Supporters of the RECLAIM Act traveled to Washington, D.C., in October to urge legislators to cosponsor the bill and hold a vote before the end of 2017.


Environmental Votetracker — Dec. 2017 / Jan. 2018 issue

December 5, 2017 How Appalachian House and Senate members voted regarding several environmental issues in October and November.


West Virginia Governor Shows Allegiance to Coal

October 11, 2017 West Virginia Governor Jim Justice is pushing for federal coal subsidies, but his companies have also amassed millions in fines due to worker safety and environmental violations.


Environmental Votetracker — Oct/Nov 2017 issue

October 10, 2017 How Appalachian House and Senate members voted regarding several environmental issues in August and September.


RECLAIM Act Passes House Committee

August 22, 2017 A bill to accelerate the reclamation of abandoned coal mines and revitalize local economies moved forward and could be voted on this fall.


Environmental Votetracker — Aug/Sept 2017 issue

August 22, 2017 How Appalachian House and Senate members voted regarding several environmental issues in June and July


Bill Could Boost Funding to Reclaim Abandoned Mines

June 15, 2017 If passed, the RECLAIM Act could provide much needed funding to clean up abandoned mine lands and prepare these sites for economically beneficial uses.


Congress Passes Budget Deal

June 15, 2017 In a last minute deal, Congress passed a compromise budget in late April that will fund federal obligations through September 2017. The budget includes funding for miner's health care benefits that were lost during bankruptcy hearings for the parent companies.


Environmental Votetracker — June/July 2017 issue

June 15, 2017 How Appalachian House and Senate members voted regarding several environmental issues in April and May.


Budget Blowback

April 13, 2017 The "America First" budget proposed by President Donald Trump in March 2017 would slash funding to many programs that Appalachian residents depend on.


Environmental Votetracker — April/May 2017

April 13, 2017 How Appalachian House and Senate members voted regarding several environmental issues in February and March.


Environmental Protections Targeted

February 10, 2017 The two weeks of Trump's presidency saw executive orders and actions in Congress.


State Politics Across the Region

February 10, 2017 With state legislative sessions underway across the region, here's a preview of some of the environmental bills to look out for.