Front Porch Blog

Updates from Appalachia


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

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.

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A first for North Carolina, now open for fracking

Fracking rigMarch 17 marked the first day in history that North Carolina has been fully open to the oil and gas industry for the dangerous, environmentally destructive practice of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. Though the moratorium on fracking has been lifted, communities and environmental organizations across the state are prepared to continue fighting.

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Although industry gets fined, citizens still pay the price

Photo by Avery Locklear
In one of the largest Clean Water Act deals in recent memory, Duke Energy agreed to pay $102 million to settle federal charges for its coal ash pollution in North Carolina. It’s the most recent example of a coal-related company facing fines for violating the law, and although that’s a step in the right direction, it can never compensate for the human cost borne for years by citizens living near coal ash ponds and mountaintop removal mines.

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Two passionate organizers join the team

We’re delighted to welcome two new members to the Appalachian Voices family! Adam Wells will be serving as our Economic Diversification Campaign Coordinator in southwest Virginia, where his roots reach back six generations. Amy Kelly, who traces her roots in the Volunteer state back to the 18th century, will work with local residents to grow energy efficiency programs as our Tennessee Energy Savings Outreach Coordinator.

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Yes, Virginia, there was a silver lining to the General Assembly

1506880_545692232232755_7519825862257630233_nFor Appalachian Voices and our partners, it was a mostly defensive game this year in the Virginia legislature as we fought a slew of bad bills by industry-backed and climate-denying politicians. We succeeded in squelching the worst of them, but a lot of policy that could have moved the commonwealth toward cleaner energy and a stronger economy fell by the wayside. There’s always next year….

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