Appalachian Voices' Executive Director, Tom holds a degree in law from UCLA and has a life-long appreciation for the Appalachia's mountains and culture. An avid hiker and whitewater rafter, his latest pleasure is in sharing with his kids a deep respect and appreciation of nature.
Friday, November 20th, 2015 | Posted by Tom Cormons | 1 Comment
The winds of change are blowing in Central Appalachia, carrying voices of people determined to see their communities thrive in a future where the coal industry no longer dominates. Executive Director Tom Cormons reflects on our achievements in 2015, including the opening of our new office in southwest Virginia where we have made tremendous progress engaging with local citizens to envision a new, sustainable economy.
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Friday, September 18th, 2015 | Posted by Tom Cormons | No Comments
Since the Dan River coal ash catastrophe of February 2014, there’s been more foot-dragging than problem-solving by Duke Energy and DENR to solve the state’s coal ash crisis. But citizens like Amy Brown are keeping the pressure on, and Appalachian Voices is right there with them. [ More ]
Tuesday, August 25th, 2015 | Posted by Tom Cormons | No Comments
President Obama’s announcement that day of first-ever regulations to limit carbon pollution from power plants in America — which has one of the largest carbon footprints in the world — marks an unprecedented milestone. Yet, as important as it is, it’s anything but certain how the story unfolds from here. [ More ]
Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015 | Posted by Tom Cormons | 6 Comments
The Obama administration says its draft rule, released last week, to mitigate the water quality impacts of surface coal mining represents a “balanced approach to energy development.” But there’s nothing balanced about blowing the tops off ancient mountains and jeopardizing the health of thousands of Americans. [ More ]
Friday, May 29th, 2015 | Posted by Tom Cormons | 2 Comments
Our goal with Communities at Risk is to ramp up the pressure on the White House to end mountaintop removal. As citizens have argued for years, cracking down on the continuing devastation of Appalachian mountains and streams is critical to moving the region forward. It’s incumbent on the Obama administration to help revive Appalachian communities, which have powered the nation’s economic ascendancy for generations. [ More ]
Friday, March 20th, 2015 | Posted by Tom Cormons | No Comments
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 ]
Tuesday, February 24th, 2015 | Posted by Tom Cormons | 2 Comments
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 ]
Friday, January 23rd, 2015 | Posted by Tom Cormons | 1 Comment
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 ]
Friday, November 21st, 2014 | Posted by Tom Cormons | 5 Comments
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 ]
Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 | Posted by Tom Cormons | No Comments
Appalachian 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 ]
Friday, August 22nd, 2014 | Posted by Tom Cormons | 6 Comments
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.
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Monday, July 14th, 2014 | Posted by Tom Cormons | No Comments
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.
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