January 26, 2019
Chapter 11 proceedings by one of the oldest coal companies in the United States jeopardizes health benefits for 500 miners and pensions for more than 7,000 former miners in Virginia alone, and sheds light on the continued negative effects of the industry on Appalachia even as a bill moves through Congress that could help.
In a frustrating move after months of delays, the State Air Pollution Control Board unanimously approved a massive fracked gas compressor station for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. But residents in the historic African-American community of Union Hill threatened by the facility have vowed to continue the fight.
In Appalachia and across the country, people are starting to take charge of their electricity systems by shaking up their electric co-op boards and walking out of power-purchase contracts, effectively demanding more clean energy, affordability, choice and transparency.
Despite significant grassroots pressure, an excise tax that pays into a healthcare and disability fund for miners with black lung was slashed in half. The lack of action by Congress amounts to a tax break for coal companies while putting benefits for former miners and their families at risk.
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Wander any ridge in Appalachia and you’re sure to come across some of the world’s 20,000 species of lichen. A symbiotic combination of fungi and algae, lichen plays a key role in creating soil and can also serve as an indicator of air quality.
A field in Wayside, W.Va., that serves as a grazing pasture for rescued horses is being bisected by the Mountain Valley Pipeline. According to horse rescuer Arietta Ann DuPre, one by one the promises the company made to protect the land and animals during construction are being destroyed just as surely as the property.