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.



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.


Environmental Votetracker — Feb/March 2017

February 10, 2017 How Appalachian House and Senate members voted regarding whether to nullify the Stream Protection Rule.


Trump’s Would-Be Coal Comeback Faces Long Odds

December 15, 2016 President-elect Donald Trump has expressed his support of the coal industry. Less clear is how he will attempt to revive the struggling sector — or how he will confront the collateral damage to human health, the environment and the climate that could result.


Voter Turnout in the Mountains

August 11, 2016 Voter turnout for presidential elections has been consistently lower in Appalachia than in the rest of the nation since at least 2004, according to scholars.


Environmental Votetracker — Aug/Sept 2016

August 10, 2016 See how Appalachian congressional representatives voted on several environmental issues during June and July 2016.


The Path of Most Resistance

June 14, 2016 Some of the region's state legislatures and largest utilities have been working to restrict access to solar power and energy efficiency. But clean energy advocates are pushing back.


Environmental Votetracker — June/July 2016

June 14, 2016 See how Appalachian congressional representatives voted on several environmental issues during April and May 2016.