Although industry gets fined, citizens still pay the price

Friday, March 20th, 2015 | Posted by Tom Cormons | No Comments

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. [ More ]

Moving Appalachia forward

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015 | Posted by Tom Cormons | 2 Comments

farmers_market2_by_jamiegoodman_lg President Obama recently proposed more than $1 billion in funding to restore lands and waters in coal-impacted communities and boost efforts to grow sustainable local economies. It’s a sound idea, and a long time coming, although Congress may not approve it. Meanwhile, Appalachian Voices and others continue working to move the region forward. [ More ]

Cheating shouldn’t pay

Friday, January 23rd, 2015 | Posted by Tom Cormons | 1 Comment

15626528019_3e96fa7547_h Appalachian Voices and our Kentucky partners scored a major victory when a judge, ruling on our case against a lawbreaking coal company, vigorously admonished state regulators for not enforcing the Clean Water Act. The state appealed, so as we head into 2015 it's clear that our work throughout the Appalachian region is more important than ever. [ More ]

Environmental agency asleep at the switch?

Friday, November 21st, 2014 | Posted by Tom Cormons | 5 Comments

Discharge site In what seems to be the biggest incident of violating the Clean Water Act in history, Appalachian Voices has uncovered almost 28,000 violations at coal operations owned by Frasure Creek Mining in Kentucky. While shocking, the discovery is not surprising given the industry’s decades-long, callous disregard for health, safety, and environmental laws in Appalachia. [ More ]

The Chief lives on

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 | Posted by Tom Cormons | No Comments

lennyAppalachian Voices executive director Tom Cormons offers a heartfelt sendoff to Lenny Kohm, who passed away unexpectedly in late September. Lenny was an activist who inspired countless people, from the Arctic to Appalachia, to stand up and exercise their right to protect the land and communities they love. He will be missed by all, but his legacy lives on. [ More ]

To tell the truth

Friday, August 22nd, 2014 | Posted by Tom Cormons | 6 Comments

matt-wasson-congressional-testimony Last month, our director of programs, Matt Wasson, testified before Congress about the perils of mountaintop removal and coal ash pollution, and the failure of some state agencies to protect communities from pollution. While Matt had a rare opportunity to provide a reality check for elected leaders, it’s the people in coal-impacted communities who know this reality better than anyone. [ More ]

Strip mine highway gets a hard look

Monday, July 14th, 2014 | Posted by Tom Cormons | No Comments

Image courtesy of the Sierra Club The Coalfields Expressway as currently proposed is not a classic “road to nowhere” boondoggle, but it is a road to the destruction of mountains, creeks and economic opportunities in Southwest Virginia. So it was a joyous day in June when we learned that, after many years of collaborative effort by Appalachian Voices and partner groups, and the persistence of countless citizens across the region, federal officials had put the brakes on it. [ More ]

Amplifying citizens’ voices

Friday, June 20th, 2014 | Posted by Tom Cormons | No Comments

epa3 Earlier this month, a group of Appalachian citizens traveled to Washington, D.C., to tell members of Congress and Obama administration officials how mountaintop removal coal mining has contaminated drinking water, poisoned streams, polluted air, and devastated local economies in their communities. Judging by the reaction, their stories hit home with many of these decision makers. [ More ]

The Carbon / Climate Challenge

Thursday, May 15th, 2014 | Posted by Tom Cormons | No Comments

carbon_and_climate1In a few weeks, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is set to unveil the nation’s first-ever proposal to limit planet-warming carbon pollution from the nation’s existing power plants — the single largest contributor to America’s carbon footprint. This is a critical opportunity to move the needle away from dirty fossil fuels and the destruction they wreak — including mountaintop removal and poisoned water and air — and toward cleaner, more sustainable ways to power our lives. [ More ]

Counteracting Coal’s Dirty Tricks

Friday, April 18th, 2014 | Posted by Tom Cormons | 6 Comments

dirty_stream2Last month, we acted quickly to undermine H.R. 2824, a pro-mountaintop removal bill in the U.S. House of Representatives. While we never expected to prevent the bill from passing the anti-environmental House, our efforts helped to make the perils of mountaintop removal the message of the day. [ More ]

Electricity Costs Tied to Poverty in the South

Friday, March 14th, 2014 | Posted by Tom Cormons | No Comments

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. [ More ]

Coal-related Spills Connect Us All

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 | Posted by Tom Cormons | 4 Comments

moormans_river_va Over the last several weeks, with each report from West Virginia or North Carolina of a coal-related water pollution crisis, I couldn't help but imagine my favorite river, the Moormans, being poisoned by a mysterious chemical called MCHM, choked by toxic coal ash, or fouled by coal slurry. In fact, it is my river that is threatened. And your river, too. But our shared connection to the creeks and rivers running through our lives unites us in the fight to protect our waters, and that’s what gives me hope. [ More ]



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