Coal

Donald Trump is still working to raise money in West Virginia, this week sending his son to a joint national/state finance committee event. State Republican Party Chairman Conrad Lucas what Eric Trump told supporters in Charleston. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, officials from the Appalachian Regional Commission and the United States Economic Development Administration visited Huntington this week to announce millions of dollars in funding for Appalachian communities struggling with the effects of coal’s decline. 

AllVoices.com

Members of the United Mineworkers of America have approved a new collective bargaining agreement that covers five northern West Virginia mines.

The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register reports 60.3 percent of union members voted in favor of the new contract with the Bituminous Coal Operators of America. The deal runs through 2021.

Coal Stock Pile
www.mine-engineer.com

In an unprecedented move, this week the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement issued a Policy Advisory to any states that issue self-bonding permits to coal mining companies.


Tim Kiser / Wiki

This week the federal Environmental Protection Agency came to a 3-million dollar agreement with Consol Energy over contaminated discharges from a site in Pennsylvania. 


Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broacasting

Demolition of a 60-year-old industrial landmark took place this morning in Dilles Bottom, Ohio, across the Ohio River from Moundsville, West Virginia. Thousands gathered to witness a smokestack over 800 feet tall collapse.


Coal Stock Pile
www.mine-engineer.com

Coal giant Murray Energy says it is not expecting to lay off any of the 4,400 coal miners in six states who recently received notice that they could lose their jobs.

A release from the St. Clairsville, Ohio, company says that despite the warning, "no layoffs are contemplated or expected at this time." 

Floods and Climate Change

Jul 4, 2016
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Glynis Board talks with experts to find out if last month’s massive flooding was caused by climate change.  And a report from Greene County, Pennsylvania – once the number one coal producing county in the nation, now the outlook is changing.

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

Malcolm Wilson / Humans of Central Appalachia

As coal jobs continue to disappear in Appalachia, some families are holding tight to the idea that coal will come back. Surprisingly, it’s not the pay that they miss about the work but the bond that comes with working in the mines. They often call it a 'brotherhood.'

Coal Stock Pile
www.mine-engineer.com

America's largest coal-mining company says it's reached a tentative labor agreement with unionized miners.

Murray American Energy announced Friday a 5-year pact struck between the United Mine Workers of America and the Bituminous Coal Operators Association, representing mine operators in Ohio and West Virginia.

Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Jennings Harrison worked in a coal mine for 36 years, over which time he accumulated back problems, neck problems, carpal tunnel in his wrist and precancerous nodules on his lungs.

Steve Inskeep/ NPR

It's election season and we want to know what Appalachians are looking for in a new president. We’ll hear from a former coal miner from Whitesburg, Ky, Gary Bentley. We'll also hear from a veteran who lives in Bristol, Va., Ralph Slaughter.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Slain coal executive Bennett Hatfield will be buried this weekend in southern West Virginia.

His obituary says friends can visit the family at River Ridge Church in Charleston on Saturday evening.

The funeral will be Sunday afternoon at the Regional Church of God at Delbarton.

AllVoices.com

West Virginia officials are investigating the death of a coal miner.

State Department of Commerce spokeswoman Leslie Smithson says preliminary information suggests the miner at the Leer Mine in Grafton may have suffered a medical condition. She says a full investigation is under way by the state Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training.

Underground Mine, Miners, Mining
Robert PEnergy / wikimedia commons

The U.S. Senate passed national energy reform legislation this week for the first time in nearly a decade.

The Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015 includes amendments were offered up by Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore-Capito of West Virginia that aim to help coal be a competitive energy source into the future.  

Peabody Energy
Jeff Roberson / AP Photo

  Peabody Energy, the nation's largest coal miner, is seeking bankruptcy protection.

The filing comes less than three months after another from Arch Coal, the country's second-largest miner, which followed bankruptcy filings from Alpha Natural Resources.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller
State of West Virginia / State of West Virginia

Former U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller says whether a Republican or Democrat wins the White House won't make a difference in the big picture of West Virginia's hurting coal industry.

The Democrat spoke Friday at the National Energy Conference at West Virginia University's College of Law. The event discussed the industry's issues and options to move the struggling state forward.

Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A new report indicates that West Virginia is in an economic recession.

The Register-Herald reports that the Mountain State Business Index has found that West Virginia has seen deterioration in economic activities since the spring of 2015.

The economic recession has been largely a result of the decline in the coal industry. The index found that in March there was a 3.1 percent month-to-month decline in coal production. It also found that there were month-to-month gains registered for natural gas production.

Coal, miners, rally, hands, dirty
Dollar Photo Club

Thousands of miners have rallied and marched in southwestern Pennsylvania to safeguard pensions and health benefits.

The United Mine Workers of America says it's concerned because environmental regulations on coal-burning plants have combined with abundant supplies of natural gas to drive down demand for coal at power plants.

Earlier this week, Virginia-based Alpha Natural Resources asked a bankruptcy judge to let it break a union contract so the company can reorganize its finances.

Coal Stock Pile
www.mine-engineer.com

$65.8 million is now available to help people who are struggling in coal fields throughout the U.S.  $35 million of that will be distributed throughout Appalachia, where layoffs in the coal industry have been especially hard on communities.


Hillary Clinton
Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press

Hillary Clinton has sent Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin a letter saying she was mistaken in her recent comments about coal.

On national television Sunday, Clinton declared she was going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business. It provided a soundbite for Republicans who made historic gains in Appalachia running against President Barack Obama's energy policies.

Murray Energy says West Virginia lawmakers have "abandoned our coal miners" by killing a bigger break for struggling coal companies.

Murray spokesman Gary Broadbent's comments came after a House panel opted Wednesday only to study severance tax cuts.

House Committee Refuses Another Tax Bill

Mar 9, 2016
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A bill that would reduce the state’s severance tax on coal and natural gas from 5 percent to 3 percent has been postponed in the House.

Senate Bill 705 was taken off the table for lawmakers this session and instead was turned into an interim study measure during a House Finance Committee meeting Wednesday.  That would give the legislature time to study the effects of the tax cut in more detail during the months between legislative sessions.


A plume of steam billows from the coal-fired Merrimack Station in Bow, N.H.
Jim Cole / Associated Press File Photo

The Supreme Court has left intact a federal rule that targets mercury pollution — giving the Environmental Protection Agency time to fix legal problems and come out with a revision by April.

West Virginia and Texas led a coalition of 20 states that wanted the court to block the rule while the government decided how to account for its costs.

Martin Valent / West Virginia Legislative Photography

During a session that has largely focused on how lawmakers will close a nearly $400 million budget gap, the Senate will vote on a bill Wednesday that will cut taxes for both the coal and natural gas industries. 

Martin Valent / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The Senate is advancing a bill that would reduce the state’s overall severance tax on coal to 3 percent over the next two years.

Senate Bill 705 was written by the Senate’s Finance Committee and was read a first time on the floor Monday evening, but only after being debated by members of the full chamber. 

Lance Booth

In this week's episode of Inside Appalachia, we hear about what it’s like to actually work in a coal mine. So often we hear about miners from environmentalists or people who proudly declare they are Friends of Coal. But so much about what we hear about coal mining these days is full of political agendas.

Malcolm Wilson/ Humans of Central Appalachia

Our roots with coal run deep here in central Appalachia. But the future for the people in the Appalachian coalfields is unclear.  Although coal will likely still continue to be mined, it doesn’t seem like jobs in this industry will ever come back, not like they once were. People in the coalfields are worried. Jobs are disappearing -- and there isn’t a lot of hope right now.

Two southern West Virginia Senators discuss the economic impact the decline in the state's coal industry is having not just on the overall state budget, but the county level budgets as well which have led to cuts in programs and services as well as school layoffs.

Sen. Bill Laird of Fayette County and Sen. Ron Stollings of Boone County join us.

The coal industry is hurting. For decades, coal was the go-to fuel for generating electricity. Now that is changing.

The connection between coal and generating electricity goes back to the late 19th century. A good place to get a sense of that history is the small town of Sunbury, Pa. — specifically at the corner of Fourth and Market streets at the Hotel Edison.

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