A moment of truth for Kentucky’s coal regulators

Thursday, July 30th, 2015 | Posted by Tarence Ray | No Comments

A striking case of corruption related to mine inspections in Kentucky led to the recent criminal conviction of former Democratic state representative Keith Hall. But questions remain about how deep the conspiracy goes. Will Governor Steve Beshear and the state agencies that enforce mining laws in Kentucky adequately investigate? [ More ]

Virginia city first to support POWER+

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015 | Posted by Adam Wells | No Comments

Welcome to Norton6The City of Norton, in southwest Virginia, has voted unanimously to support a federal budget proposal that would steer billions of dollars for economic development to coal-impacted communities, including in Virginia. It’s the first such local resolution in the nation supporting the White House's “POWER+ Plan." Appalachian Voices championed the resolution with Norton's leaders and commends them for leading the way on this vital issue. [ More ]

How much progress are we making on ending mountaintop removal?

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

Last week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration pointed to a steep decline in coal produced by mountaintop removal mining. But a closer examination of the data calls into question the adequacy of the legal definition of “mountaintop removal” and, more importantly, demonstrates that much more work is needed to truly end destructive mining practices in Central Appalachia. [ More ]

A “golden opportunity” in disguise

Thursday, July 9th, 2015 | Posted by Cat McCue | 2 Comments

AML reportIn 2013, federal funds derived from a per-ton fee on mined coal were distributed to Central Appalachia states for restoring abandoned mine lands. The result was $182 million in economic benefit and 1,317 jobs--plus cleaner streams, and a healthier future for nearby residents. A new report out shows how the federal program should be fixed to yield even better results, and sooner. [ More ]

Ison Rock Ridge and land ownership in Appalachia

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015 | Posted by Adam Wells | No Comments

Earlier this summer, our friends at Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards celebrated the defeat of a proposed mountaintop removal mine along Ison Rock Ridge in Southwest Virginia. But although the imminent threat of mining is past, the land on Ison Rock Ridge is still owned by an absentee landholding company in the business of leasing out tracts to coal operators for mountaintop removal. [ More ]

EIA: Mountaintop removal coal production down

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments

The U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) published a blog post today showing that coal produced by mountaintop removal mining in Central Appalachia decreased by 62 percent between 2008 and 2014. Demand for Central Appalachian coal will continue to decline, making further progress inevitable. But we won't end mountaintop removal by relying on the market alone. [ More ]

“It’s just vitamins!” Industry confuses residents on coal ash safety

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015 | Posted by Sandra Diaz | 2 Comments

Duke Energy and the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources continue to confound and confuse families that have the unfortunate luck of living in close proximity to the utility’s coal ash lagoons. So citizens and county officials are stepping in to help residents air their frustrations and, hopefully, to receive some answers. [ More ]

A time of transition: APCo’s latest Virginia generation plan

Monday, July 6th, 2015 | Posted by Hannah Wiegard | No Comments

It’s like Christmas in July, at least for those of us who get excited about energy news. On Wednesday Virginia’s utilities released their long-term plans to meet demand. Here we unwrap that bright shiny package for a look at what Appalachian Power is pursuing between now and 2029. [ More ]

Supreme Court delivers blow to EPA’s mercury rule

Monday, June 29th, 2015 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments

In a major decision today, the Supreme Court ruled the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency did not properly consider costs when it created a rule to limit mercury emissions from power plants. But the agency has a mandate and a clear path forward to protect public health by limiting emissions of mercury and other toxic air pollutants. [ More ]

Appalachian legislators give POWER+ the cold shoulder

Friday, June 26th, 2015 | Posted by Adam Wells | 1 Comment

economyVirginia’s coal-bearing counties would directly benefit from the adoption of the POWER+ plan, a proposal in the Obama administration’s 2016 budget that would direct more than a billion dollars to Central Appalachia. But budget bills passed out of both houses of Congress weaken or include no mention of the POWER+ Plan. [ More ]

Appalachian Regional Commission receives citizen input

Thursday, June 18th, 2015 | Posted by AV's Intern Team | No Comments

Subregions_2009_MapOn June 4, the Appalachian Regional Commission held one of its five 2016-2020 Strategic Plan Listening Sessions in Morehead, Ky. The session successfully facilitated the sharing of ideas by Appalachian stakeholders that will inform the commission’s plan for improving economic opportunities in communities across the region. [ More ]

Another challenge facing coal: Cleaning up

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments

Harlan Mine 4_12_13_400wFrom The Appalachian Voice Online: Yet another aspect of the financial perils facing U.S. coal companies is coming into full view. As even some of the nation's largest coal producers run the risk of caving under their debts, regulators and analysts are voicing urgent concerns about cash-strapped companies' ability to pay for reclamation land after mining. [ More ]


 

 

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