A publication of Appalachian Voices


A publication of Appalachian Voices

Tracking political news and regional legislator voting records on environmental and energy issues.



Spending Bill Sustains Appalachian Programs

While the federal budget includes funding for programs like the Appalachian Regional Commission, the bill omitted the RECLAIM Act.


Environmental Votetracker — April/May 2018 issue

Chart displays how Appalachian House and Senate members voted regarding several environmental issues in February and March.


The Ongoing Cleanup of Abandoned Coal Mines

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

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

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

How Appalachian House and Senate members voted regarding several environmental issues in October and November.


West Virginia Governor Shows Allegiance to Coal

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

How Appalachian House and Senate members voted regarding several environmental issues in August and September.


RECLAIM Act Passes House Committee

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

How Appalachian House and Senate members voted regarding several environmental issues in June and July


Bill Could Boost Funding to Reclaim Abandoned Mines

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

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

How Appalachian House and Senate members voted regarding several environmental issues in April and May.


Budget Blowback

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

How Appalachian House and Senate members voted regarding several environmental issues in February and March.