The Front Porch Blog, with Updates from AppalachiaThe Front Porch Blog, with Updates from Appalachia


A way forward for Appalachia

Friday, January 22nd, 2021 | Posted by Thom Kay | No Comments

Our legislative director outlines a list of action items for the Biden administration — suspending utility shutoffs during the pandemic, strengthening oversight of the fossil fuel industry, and moving swiftly to support just economic transition in coal-impacted communities. [ Read More ]

Charting paths forward for coal communities

Saturday, August 8th, 2020 | Posted by Thom Kay | No Comments

For communities that depended on coal, the pandemic is exacerbating an already-urgent set of interlocking problems. Two regional coalitions have released plans to chart a brighter future for communities hit hardest by the changing coal economy. [ Read More ]

Pass the RECLAIM Act

Wednesday, June 5th, 2019 | Posted by Thom Kay | No Comments

Politicians like to talk about helping rural Appalachia. The RECLAIM Act is a chance for them to show that they mean it. [ Read More ]

Federal spending bill: Some good, and bad news for Appalachia

Thursday, April 19th, 2018 | Posted by Thom Kay | No Comments

Congress included funding for several programs important for Appalachian communities, but failed to include the critical RECLAIM Act. [ Read More ]

RECLAIM Act Passes House Natural Resources Committee

Friday, June 30th, 2017 | Posted by Thom Kay | 3 Comments

The RECLAIM Act would accelerate the cleanup of abandoned mines while spurring economic opportunities in coal communities. [ Read More ]

White House budget leaves Appalachia in the dust

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017 | Posted by Thom Kay | No Comments

The White House released its budget blueprint last week, and the proposal is nothing short of a disaster for Appalachia and rural communities across the country. Here's a look at a few agencies and programs the White House wants to completely eliminate if it had its way. [ Read More ]

Congress must act to protect coal miners’ benefits

Friday, March 10th, 2017 | Posted by Thom Kay | No Comments

In a matter of weeks, health care benefits for thousands of retired union coal miners will run out. In just a matter of years, the entire United Mine Workers pension plan, which covers nearly 90,000 former coal miners and their widows, may become insolvent. [ Read More ]

America’s miners deserve better than this; time to do your part

Thursday, December 8th, 2016 | Posted by Thom Kay | No Comments

America owes a debt to the nation’s coal miners. The Miners Protection Act would begin to pay that debt, but the opportunity for Congress to pass the bill is quickly slipping away. [ Read More ]

Revitalizing Appalachia from the ground up

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016 | Posted by Thom Kay | No Comments

In February, a bill was introduced in Congress that would expedite funding to clean up old coal mining sites and redevelop them specifically to foster economic growth. The RECLAIM Act is now in committee and the language is expected to change a bit in the coming weeks. As Congress considers those changes, lawmakers should look to communities impacted by the coal industry, in Appalachia and across the country, whose perspective is vital to the bill's success. [ Read More ]

Budget holds promise for Central Appalachia

Friday, December 18th, 2015 | Posted by Thom Kay | 1 Comment

Today the U.S. Congress passed a spending bill that covers expenditures for agencies including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of the Interior, Department of Labor, and the Appalachian Regional Commission. The spending bill is a big deal for Appalachian Voices and our work. And honestly, it looks pretty darn good. [ Read More ]

One month, two hearings on mountaintop removal

Thursday, June 4th, 2015 | Posted by Thom Kay | 1 Comment

dustin testimonyIt’s rare that Appalachians have their voices heard in Congress. But twice in the past month, residents have had the opportunity to testify about mountaintop removal mining at two different U.S. House hearings. The lesson we learned? Congress does not want to help end mountaintop removal and they’d prefer not to hear about it. [ Read More ]

Welcome to Congress, Mr. Mooney. Your bill is the worst.

Monday, April 6th, 2015 | Posted by Thom Kay | 3 Comments

mooney Alex Mooney is newly elected to Congress, from West Virginia's 2nd district. His first bill is a doozie - it would stop a stream protection rule he’s never seen, have drastically different impacts than he thinks, and be written and enforced by an agency whose purpose he doesn’t understand. [ Read More ]



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