RockingChair

Front Porch Blog

Updates from Appalachia

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Gaming the system — Part III

In 2021, the Government Accountability Office found big problems with the Labor Department’s current rules because they do not require sufficient collateral to cover both current and future black lung liabilities.

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Gaming the system — Part II

Congress stated clearly that coal operators, instead of taxpayers, would shoulder the cost of black lung when it set up the Black Lung Trust Fund. The trust fund was intended to be a backstop for miners rather than a means for coal operators to underinsure their liabilities.

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Gaming the system — Part I

At its core, this is the age-old story of corporate greed whereby rapacious mine operators, who have subjected generations of miners to disabling and fatal black lung disease, managed to transfer their responsibility to pay black lung benefits to suffering coal miners from their corporate coffers to the taxpayer’s pockets.

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Tennessee enacts law halting efforts to take over surface mine regulation from federal government

On May 11, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee enacted a significant law that temporarily halts the state’s pursuit of primacy. Primacy refers to a state’s right to petition the federal government to become the primary authority in issuing surface mine permits and implementing associated regulations.

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A photo of the Dante Steam building.

Reclaiming Appalachia Coalition report shows how mine cleanup can boost local economies

The Reclaiming Appalachia Coalition recently released its 2023 report, “National to Neighborhoods: Catalyzing Opportunities for Coal-Impacted Communities.” The report highlights the coalition’s current work and projects across the Appalachian coalfields of Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky.

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