Peculiar Patriot Coal deal raises questions

Thursday, August 20th, 2015 | Posted by Tarence Ray | 1 Comment

What would a health care executive-turned-environmentalist want with the dying business of mining coal? That’s the question some are asking after the announcement that a Virginia environmentalist plans to acquire assets, and assume around $400 million in liabilities, from recently-bankrupt Patriot Coal. [ More ]

U.S. coal giant Alpha Natural Resources files for bankruptcy

Friday, August 7th, 2015 | Posted by Jamie Goodman | No Comments

Alpha Natural Resources, one of the largest coal mining companies in the United States and a big player in the Appalachian coal market, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday of this week, blaming "an unprecedented period of distress with increased competition from natural gas, an oversupply in the global coal market, historically low prices due to weaker international and domestic economies, and increasing government regulation that has pushed electric utilities to transition away from coal-fired power plants. [ More ]

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 ]

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 | 1 Comment

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 ]

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 ]

One month, two hearings on mountaintop removal

Thursday, June 4th, 2015 | Posted by Thom Kay | 1 Comment

dustin testimonyIt’s rare that Appalachians have their voices heard in Congress. But twice in the past month, residents have had the opportunity to testify about mountaintop removal mining at two different U.S. House hearings. The lesson we learned? Congress does not want to help end mountaintop removal and they’d prefer not to hear about it. [ More ]

Silas House: A Remembrance of Jean Ritchie

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015 | Posted by Guest Contributor | 2 Comments

Jean in dulcimer shop "Kindness always lit up the face of Jean Ritchie," begins this remembrance by author Silas House of the Appalachian folk icon who died yesterday at 92. "She was a source of incredible pride for my people. Everyone I knew loved Jean Ritchie, and they especially loved the way she represented Appalachian people: with generosity and sweetness, yes. But also with defiance and strength." [ More ]

Appalachian communities are still at risk

Friday, May 29th, 2015 | Posted by Tom Cormons | 2 Comments

communities_pikecounty_kyOur 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 ]

Reflections from the second SOAR Summit

Friday, May 22nd, 2015 | Posted by Adam Wells | No Comments

20150510_182914Last week's SOAR Summit provided a positive forum for people working to strengthen local economies in Appalachia. But, even with so many who care deeply about the region gathering in one place, there was disappointingly little time or space created for discussion amongst the people who are doing the lion's share of the groundwork in Appalachian communities. [ More ]


 

 

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