coal mining

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


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.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, President Trump has nominated a retired West Virginia mine executive to lead the nation’s top mine safety agency. David Zatazelo is the former head of Rhino Resources, a coal company that was the focus of scrutiny by regulators in 2011 over safety violations.  
The nomination comes as mine safety experts are expressing concern about a rash of fatal coal mining accidents. Becca Schimmel reports that 12 miners have died this year -- eight of them in West Virginia and Kentucky.

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. 

AllVoices.com

A new federal report shows West Virginia's economic output rose 3 percent in the first quarter of this year led by mining.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis says the state's increase in gross domestic product trailed only Texas' 3.9 percent.

Benny Becker

Back in March, Inside Appalachia aired a report about a rise in the number of chronic black lung cases. Since then, NPR’s ongoing investigation uncovered an additional 1,000 cases of the worst form of black lung disease in Appalachia. 

Federal mine safety officials will discuss recent coal mining deaths during a meeting this week in West Virginia.

The meeting Thursday in Beaver, West Virginia, near Beckley, will also address regulatory issues. Interested parties unable to attend may participate via teleconference or online using WebEx.

Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

If you live near a mining site – either old or active - is your health at risk? That’s what a committee from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering & Medicine is trying to find out.

 

Jessica Lilly

Coal mining has touched so many aspects of life in Appalachia. The coal industry has provided more than just jobs — it’s helped build towns, bridges and it’s even provided money for many Appalachians to go to college. We also have a deep cultural connection to coal and its history.

Still, there’s no denying the coal industry has changed the landscape of our mountains, and infected many miners with a deadly disease known as black lung.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginia lawmakers have begun advancing revisions in coal mining regulation after removing provisions that would have sharply reduced safety inspections of underground mines.

The Senate Committee on Energy, Industry and Mining approved a substitute bill that would have chopped required annual state safety inspections from four to one.

Underground Mine, Miners, Mining
Robert PEnergy / wikimedia commons

Local government entities such as cities and public school systems could lose some tax funding after West Virginia officials decreased the tax rate for temporarily idled coal mining equipment.

Property Tax Division director Jeff Amburgey says the change affects mining equipment that's expected to start back up again. Lawmakers such as former senator Art Kirkendoll have said a lower tax rate may encourage companies to keep equipment in West Virginia mines.

Underground Mine, Miners, Mining
Robert PEnergy / wikimedia commons

The nation's coal mines are nearing a record low mark for on-the-job deaths for the third year in a row and have a chance to keep the number of fatal accidents in single digits for the first time.

With just a day left in 2016, U.S. coal mines have recorded nine deaths. West Virginia had four, Kentucky had two and there was one each in Alabama, Illinois and Pennsylvania. The low number can be attributed to far fewer coal mining jobs and tougher enforcement of mining safety rules.

Democrats: McConnell Fix for Miners’ Health Care Inadequate

Dec 7, 2016
 Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington.
J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press File Photo

Senate Democrats on Tuesday blasted a proposal by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to temporarily protect health care benefits for thousands of retired coal miners.

Candace Nelson

If your father worked in the coal mines, chances are you remember his lunch or dinner bucket and the food that he brought to work. For many families, the extra food that was packed away in these dinner buckets was practical -- it would be there just in case an accident happened.


Roger May

  This year marks the 60th anniversary of the publication of a series of novels called The Beulah Quintet.  The novels are by the late Mary Lee Settle, a writer who set out to capture moments in West Virginia history when a revolutionary change was at stake. Today's economic uncertainty here in Appalachia has many people wondering whether we are also living in the midst of a transition.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, retired miners are worried about their pension and health benefits and are relying on Congress to help them and we’ll go to a summer camp for visually impaired children. 

These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, 35 schools were damaged in last month’s historic flooding.  With some schools set to open in just over a month, school officials are on a tight deadline to fix them.  Also, State Senator Chris Walters has been volunteering in his district since flooding began.  He talks about the need for more volunteers to assist our flooded neighbors. 

These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

W. Va. Supreme Court Candidate Profile: Wayne King

May 3, 2016

On West Virginia Morning, Ashton Marra reports from Mingo County where Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton explained her position on coal and the communities that rely on it.  Also, Liz McCormick profiles Wayne King, a Clay County attorney who is running for a seat on the West Virginia Supreme Court. 

These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

Roger May

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the publication of a series of novels called The Beulah Quintet.  The novels are by the late Mary Lee Settle, a writer who set out to capture moments in West Virginia history when a revolutionary change was at stake. Today's economic uncertainty here in Appalachia has many people wondering whether we are also living in the midst of a transition.

On West Virginia Morning, Ashton Marra continues her conversation with the sisters of one of the miners killed six years ago this week in the Upper Big Branch mine and what they will tell the judge this morning at the sentencing of Don Blankenship, who’s company owned the mine.

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