Coal

Steve Helber / AP Photo

The Trump administration announced Thursday it will hold a public hearing in West Virginia on its plan to nullify an Obama-era plan to limit planet-warming carbon emissions. The state is economically dependent on coal mining.

The Environmental Protection Agency will take comments on its proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan in Charleston, the state capital, on Nov. 28 and 29.

Harry Schaefer, Environmental Protection Agency / wikimedia Commons

West Virginia's U.S. Senators say a $1.3 million grant from the federal Office of Fossil Energy will go to the West Virginia University Research Corp. to support efforts to develop sensors that monitor corrosion in coal-fired power generation boilers.

Michael Virtanen / Associated Press

The nation’s biggest electric grid operator said a Trump administration plan to change the way electricity is priced to reward coal and nuclear power is both unworkable and potentially against the law.

PJM Interconnection, which operates the grid covering 65 million people from Illinois to Washington, D.C., submitted formal comments on the plan late Monday to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

AllVoices.com

State and federal investigators are trying to determine what killed a 48-year-old miner found Monday at a coal mining operation in Raleigh County.

James Ray Adkins of Colcord, West Virginia, was discovered missing at approximately 7:10 a.m. at Marfork Coal Co.'s Horse Creek Eagle Deep Mine, according to the West Virginia Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

A jury on Friday convicted the accused trigger man in the 2016 fatal shooting of a longtime coal executive in West Virginia.

According to news outlets, 22-year-old Anthony Raheem Arriaga of Ohio was found guilty of first-degree murder, first-degree robbery and two counts of conspiracy in the death of Bennett "Ben" Hatfield.

Benny Becker/ WMMT

Derek Akal, 22, grew up in the famed coalfields of Harlan County, Kentucky. He’s a bit over six feet tall, he’s black, and he has an athlete’s build. Neat curls of black hair rise off the top of his head, and on his chin, he keeps a closely-trimmed mustache and goatee.

I first interviewed Derek in October 2016. At that time, he said he was trying to become a Kentucky state trooper, but also making plans to move to Texas to work on an oil rig. 


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the Environmental Protection Agency’s move to end the Clean Power Plan is the Trump administration’s latest attempt to support the struggling coal industry. The Department of Energy is also pushing a new way to subsidize coal power. But as Glynis Board reports, a new study suggests that market forces -- not regulations -- will still make more coal power plants in the region vulnerable.

Bipartisan Bill Would Prop Up Coal Miners’ Pensions

Oct 4, 2017
Becca Schimmel

A bipartisan Congressional group from the Ohio Valley and beyond introduced a new bill to save pensions for retired union coal miners throughout the region.

 

Jack Corn/ U.S. National Archives

Coal mine owner Andrew Jordon and environmental attorney Joe Lovett grew up together in Charleston, but have taken two completely different, even adversarial, paths in life. On this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll hear “Two Tales of Coal” from the Us & Them Podcast


Reid Frazier/ The Allegheny Front

For the past few weeks, we’ve been following the story of Dave Hathaway, a laid off miner from Greene County, Pennsylvania, as part of our series The Struggle to Stay.

Late in 2016, he got a job offer for a company that was doing blasting work. It was great money, and a steady day shift. But it was in Maryland. He’d have to spend four nights a week in a hotel, leaving Ashley to take care of newborn Deacon. “We agreed I pretty much had to do it,” he said. “I didn’t have any funds coming in.”

Caliber Comics

A few years back, West Virginia writer and filmmaker Danny Boyd stepped into the world of graphic novels, releasing books under his cult-classic Chillers franchise, as well as other stories. One of which was Carbon, a mythological world set in an alternative West Virginia and dealing with an ancient race of people and their effect on the coal industry thousands of years later. The follow-up, Salt, was released in late-2016 and picks up where Carbon left off. We spoke with Boyd about his latest graphic novel, some of the social and environmental issues addressed in the story and why he’s just now getting around to promoting it the way he would have liked.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

A judge has delayed the trial for one of two men charged in the fatal shooting of a former coal executive in southern West Virginia.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that Mingo County Circuit Court Judge Miki Thompson granted a motion from the attorney for 22-year-old Anthony Raheem Arriaga asking for the delay. The trial is now set to start on Oct. 16.

Blankenship Trial
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press

Attorneys for former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship have made a last pitch to the U.S. Supreme Court to throw out his conviction connected to a 2010 West Virginia mine explosion that killed 29 miners.

Kenneth King Collection, West Virginia State Archives

The "Us & Them" podcast is about seeing the same story two ways… and nothing calls out for that treatment more than coal in West Virginia.

Money, Cash
2bgr8 / Deviantart

West Virginia tax officials say collections of nearly $560 million so far this fiscal year are 3.9 percent higher than last year, though August receipts of almost $307 million were lower than budget estimates.

Treasury Secretary Dave Hardy says the boost in collections is good news for the state two months into its new year.

Unemployment Line
Matt Rourke / Associated Press

 


Several organizations throughout Appalachia will see federal grant money. Funds are designed to help strengthen coal-impacted economies.

 

The Appalachian Regional Commission announced nearly $2 million additional dollars this week for regions in Appalachia that have been affected by job losses related to the declining coal industry.

 

Reid Frazier

Dave Hathaway is a coal miner in Greene County, in the very southwestern corner of Pennsylvania. Apart from a brief stint living in Colorado as a child, he’s lived his whole life there, and he’s never really thought much about leaving. 

Coal Mining Jobs Are Down, Fatalities Are Up – Why?

Aug 29, 2017
Adobe Stock

At a time when we ought to see fewer deaths from coal mining, the number of fatalities has increased compared to last year. The greed of coal tycoons and politicians (who are sometimes one and the same) is the reason. 

Coal CEO Expected Trump Help, But Administration Said No

Aug 22, 2017
Donald Trump gives a speech along the Ohio River in June 2017.
AP Photo / John Minchillo

The Trump administration has rejected a coal industry push to win a rarely used emergency order protecting coal-fired power plants, a decision contrary to what one coal executive said the president personally promised him.

The Energy Department says it considered issuing the order sought by companies seeking relief for plants it says are overburdened by environmental regulations and market stresses. But the department ultimately ruled it was unnecessary, and the White House agreed, a spokeswoman said.

Coal Stock Pile
www.mine-engineer.com

The U.S. Energy Department has selected West Virginia University for the second phase of research in a project that would recover rare earth elements from coal mine drainage.

U.S. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin announced the $2.7 million grant Thursday.

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