Front Porch Blog

Updates from Appalachia


Pro-Mountaintop Removal Bill Headed to House Floor

congress It’s hard to get a good bill all the way through the legislative process to receive a vote on the House floor. Apparently it’s much easier to get a bad bill that far. H.R. 2824 — pro-mountaintop removal legislation that would weaken protections for Appalachian streams — is expected to head to the House floor for a full vote sometime next week.

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Fouling Our Nest: Coal Ash Roundup and Next Steps

watertestingWe’ve watched national interest in North Carolina’s coal ash mess grow over the past month and a half, and it’s been a wild ride. The Dan River spill on Feb. 2 sparked a wave of support for closing the 33 ash ponds owned by Duke Energy polluting North Carolina’s surface and ground waters. Here are the most recent developments.

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Electricity Costs Tied to Poverty in the South

povertymapblogFifty years ago, President Johnson declared a “war on poverty” in America, and Congress passed legislation to increase support and economic opportunities for the poor. Appalachia was the “poster region” for this grand endeavor. Today, a “war on wasted energy” makes sense for many reasons, and it would provide a much-needed boost to communities in Appalachia and across the South who are most in need.

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Emails indicate coordination between Duke Energy and DENR on coal ash lawsuits

800px-Dan_River_Steam_StationThe Associated Press reported today that emails between N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources officials, the N.C. Department of Justice and lawyer for Duke Energy indicate how DENR coordinated closely with Duke after it blocked citizens groups from suing the company over coal ash pollution.

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Appalachian Coal Companies Face Major Fines for Clean Water Act Violations

iron precipitate in right fork fugate creek below unpermitted fill and ponds
Two recent federal enforcement actions against major Appalachian coal companies, Alpha Natural Resources and Nally & Hamilton, are a positive sign. But can fining coal companies come close to solving the fundamental problem of water pollution that stems from mountaintop removal?

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