RockingChair

Front Porch Blog

Updates from Appalachia

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“Clean coal” is on the fritz

Futuregen_DOE_Concept_artFrom The Appalachian Voice Online: As one of the most high-profile and hyped-up projects of its kind, the FutureGen “clean coal” plant in Illinois was supposed make history. So the announcement that the U.S. Department of Energy is backing out of its $1.1 billion funding promise to the project sent a shockwave through the coal sector and investors, energy analysts and environmentalists all took note.

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Meet Zack Dixon, grand prize winner of the home energy makeover contest

Zach Dixon, a resident of Boone, N.C., and the grand prize winner of Appalachian Voices’ High Country Home Energy Makeover Contest heats his house with space heaters, and chronically struggles to pay his electricity bills. With help from many partners around the High Country, we’re working to change that.

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Danger still looms over the Dan River

amy-rally-speachIn the wake of the Dan River coal ash spill, which spewed 39,000 tons of the toxic waste into the scenic river, much attention has been given to the problems of leaky, unlined coal ash pits across North Carolina. What hasn’t received adequate attention is another menacing threat just upstream from the site of last year’s spill.

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The will against poverty: ASU students serve in rural Appalachia

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Jan. 19 marked the twentieth year since President Clinton passed legislation to encourage Americans to volunteer on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Appalachian State University has recognized the day the with the MLK Challenge for sixteen years. Having participated in the challenge as a student, I couldn’t help but want to participate again. But I never knew I would be spelunking in a dusty crawlspace.

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Obama budget creates opportunities for Appalachian communities

economyThe Obama administration’s 2016 budget calls for hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds to be spent cleaning up abandoned strip mines, and to support economic development and workforce training in mining communities facing layoffs as coal is increasingly outcompeted in America’s energy mix. Read a statement from Appalachian Voices Legislative Associate Thom Kay on the proposals.

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