Coal

Robb Kendrick / National Geographic

A feature article in April’s edition of National Geographic Magazine examines what America and other key countries are doing to limit carbon dioxide emissions.

The article comes as new regulations from the Obama Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency are up for public comment. 

The article assumes that humans are inducing global climate change, an idea that some Republicans as well as the West Virginia Coal Association, still question. 

Wacky Weather

AllVoices.com

An Ohio-based coal operator is suing the head of the Environmental Protection Agency over the agency's administration and enforcement of the Clean Air Act.
 
Murray Energy alleges in its lawsuit that EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has failed to comply with the law's requirement to evaluate the potential impact of the agency's regulatory actions on employment.
 

Associated Press

The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from a coal company fighting to reinstate a water pollution permit for a massive West Virginia strip mine.

The justices say they will not disturb a federal appeals court ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency acted within its authority in 2011 when it retroactively vetoed a permit issued four years earlier by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

St. Louis-based Arch Coal Inc. and its Mingo Logan Coal Co. subsidiary challenged the appellate ruling concerning the mountaintop removal coal mine in West  Logan County.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Ten students from San Francisco are traveling around the area learning about the coal and gas industries thanks to an immersion trip taking place through Wheeling Jesuit University’s Appalachian Institute. Brownfield grants help improve the historic village of Middleway in the Eastern Panhandle. Harlem Globetrotter Johnny "Hawk" Thomas remembers his time in Huntington while playing for Marshall University.

Climate Change, Coal, & The Thompson's Research

Mar 11, 2014
Lonnie Thompson
Byrd Polar Research Center

In Washington, Senate Democrats are pulling an all-nighter on Capitol Hill. They're on the Senate floor, talking about global warming. They started Monday night and plan to go until this morning.      Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who's leading the dusk-to-dawn talkathon, says climate change is "a question of our own survival."

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, new EPA regulations are on the way, on existing coal-fired power plants. A conference in Morgantown tries to sort out what's on the way.

In the State Legislature, the House of Delegates looks at a Zombie Bill, and the Senate looks at gun rights.

Ben Adducchio / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Scores of environmental regulators, lawyers, and other interested parties discussed what they will be facing when the Environmental Protection Agency releases its new rules on existing coal fired power plants later this year.

Lawyers are concerned with the possibility of excessive amounts of litigation over the issue, and some hope coal-rich states like West Virginia are given a great deal of flexibility to implement changes.

International Energy Agency

The report, titled “The Social Costs of Carbon? No, The Social Benefits Of Carbon,” highlights a forecasted decline in oil demand in the world’s energy market.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, teachers in West Virginia are doing the best they possibly can on low pay, and the state legislature is working to get them raises.

A new report argues fossil fuels should be here to stay, and a story about the effects of road salt.

http://www.coalheritage.org/

Since the recent chemical spill in Charleston, the issue of clean water in West Virginia is a topic that many Southern West Virginians are discussing.  The Coal Heritage Lecture Series, an annual program presented by Concord University’s Beckley Center and the Coal Heritage Highway Authority, kicks off the 2014 programs with a look at this critical issue. 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Jay Rockefeller today issued the following statement in remembrance of the January 2, 2006 mine disaster at Sago that claimed the lives of 12 miners and seriously injured another.

“I don’t think any West Virginian remembers this day without heartache and profound sadness. Like all of us, my thoughts and prayers today remain with the families and the community that suffered this awful tragedy.

Marshall University

Ninety four-year-old James "Buck" Harless has passed away. Harless was born in Gilbert, W.Va. in Mingo County and worked as a miner for the Red Jacket Coal Company for several years after high school.

Federal mining regulators issued more than 290 citations during October and November impact inspections.
 
     The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration says it also issued 21 orders following inspections at 18 coal mines and three other mines.
 

Eastern Kentuckians talk about their future.

While the struggle to find jobs for laid-off coal miners continues.

A Pennsylvanian reminisces about deer hunting.

An ultra-marathoner runs his way to good health.

Eastern Kentuckians are ready to talk about the future.  This was evident this past Monday when more than 1,500 people showed up in Pikeville for the first SOAR, the shaping our Appalachian region summit.  WMMT’s Sylvia Ryerson was at the event, and has this story.

WV Center on Budget and Policy

It could be argued that West Virginia has never been “owned” by her inhabitants. Before European settlement, of course, ideas of land ownership were not in vogue. Then King Charles II rewarded many loyal friends with large swaths of land and by 1730s, 800,000 acres in what would become West Virginia was owned by three land companies. For the most part, the same trend continues three hundred years later.

Some have argued absentee land ownership in West Virginia has been a major impediment to economic diversification for generations.

Coal Stock Pile
www.mine-engineer.com

Eight Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states are petitioning the Environmental Protection Agency to require nine upwind states to cut down air pollution emissions.

The petition is aimed at West Virginia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and Virginia. It seeks a reduction in emissions carried by prevailing winds that contribute to the formation of ozone in the downwind states.

States filing the petition Monday are Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

CONSOL Energy Inc. says it has completed the sale of subsidiary Consolidation Coal Company to Murray Energy.
 
     The sale includes five longwall mines in West Virginia. They include the McElroy, Shoemaker, Robinson Run, Loveridge and Blacksville No. 2 mines.
 
     The deal also gives Ohio-basedMurray Energy about 1.1 billion tons of coal reserves.
 
     Murray Energy paid $850 million in cash and will take $2.4 billion in liabilities off CONSOL's balance sheets.
 

wvdanceco.com

A concert of modern dance that explores the history of the coal mining industry in Appalachia is touring Southern West Virginia. 

Two groups are working together to tell the story of the coal industry in Appalachia from the turn of the century to the 1920’s. 

Black lung is a deadly disease caused by exposure to dust underground.
Department of Labor

Two congressional Democrats want the U.S. Labor Department to investigate how West Virginia law firm Jackson Kelly has handled black lung benefits cases for its coal industry clients.
 
     Reps. George Miller of California and Joe Courtney of Connecticut cite an investigation of the federal program by the Center for Public Integrity and ABC.
 
     Miller is ranking Democrat on the House committee that oversees the program.
 
     The reports say Jackson Kelly withheld medical records that could have helped miners prove they have the disease.
 

West Virginia and Kentucky have lost 38,000 coal jobs since 1983, as mining has become increasingly automated in recent decades, particularly as companies have shifted to techniques such as mountaintop-removal mining, which are less labor intensive. While many blame President Obama and his Administration's tightening of EPA regulations, this article from The Washington Post attempts to explain the coal industry's decline in Central Appalachia from broader economic and scientific perspectives.

   A new study argues that America doesn't have 200 years worth of coal left like many believe, Berkley Springs writer John Douglas talks about his book A Fog of Ghosts: Haunted Tales and Odd Pieces, and the conclusion of the Halloween-themed mini series The Soul of a Company Store.

Coal Stock Pile
www.mine-engineer.com

A study released Wednesday says minable coal will run out much sooner than expected. The report comes from an environmental organization and the author claims it’s science based and not politically driven.

The report is published by Clean Energy Action, Colorado based environmental organization that works to push the transition from fossil fuels to other energy sources.  

Breaking down the Consol-Murray sale

Oct 29, 2013

Consol Energy is selling five of its long wall coal mines in West Virginia to Murray Energy. It’s a deal slated to cost more than $3 billion.

In the deal, Consol will get:

$850 million in cash;

Almost $200 million in value of future payments;

The acquisition of $2.4 billion in Consol's liabilities, to Murray Energy.

In return,

Murray Energy will receive:

Almost 4,000 new employees;

6 more coal preparation plants;

5 more active mining complexes;

6 more longwall mining systems;

23 more continuing mining units;

In 1960, then-Senator and Presidential Candidate John F. Kennedy visited McDowell County, West Virginia and forged a bond with those living in the state's southern coalfields. It was a victory in West Virginia's Democratic primary that helped confirm his broad appeal to the rest of America. After winning the presidential election, Kennedy exposed the rest of the country to the perils of poverty that faced the region. In this article, USA Today reports on the way Kennedy's assassination has resonated with those living in southern West Virginia, the way things were then, and how they are now.

CONSOL Energy Inc. is selling all five of its longwall coal mines in West Virginia to Ohio-based Murray Energy for $3.5 billion.
 
     Pennsylvania-based CONSOL said Monday the deal for its Consolidation Coal Co. subsidiary is good for long-term growth.
 
     CONSOL is selling McElroy Mine, Shoemaker Mine, Robinson Run Mine, Loveridge Mine and Blacksville No. 2 Mine, plus river and dock operations. The mines produced a combined 28.5 million tons last year.
 

Rachel Lippman / St. Louis Public Radio

The United Mine Workers of America has reached a settlement with Peabody Energy and Patriot Coal that will help to cover health care benefits for retired miners.

Background:

The Environmental Protection Agency will soon be expected to move forward revising coal ash regulations, according to a federal court ruling.

In April 2012, nearly a dozen environmental groups filed a lawsuit challenging the EPA’s inaction to revise coal ash regulations.

New environmental regs, coal a tourism draw in southern W.Va, an historic clock in downtown Lexington Ky. restored and Big Stone Gap Va. gets a taste of Hollywood.

WVU Professor on EPA Regulations: With the proposed regulations targeting new coal-fired power plants, one West Virginia University law professor is predicting new challenges for the region’s coal industry.

EPA proposals would cap carbon emissions

Sep 20, 2013

The Environmental Protection Agency's plan to address carbon emissions, which result from burning coal, include capping the amount of emissions allowed to be released from plants.

The proposals sparked anger from most of West Virginia's federal delegation, with the exception of retiring Sen. Jay Rockefeller.

WVU law professor talks expected EPA power plant rules

Sep 19, 2013
AEP's Mountaineer plant in New Haven, WV. 2009
Keri Brown

With new regulations expected to come from the Environmental Protection Agency on coal-fired power plants, one West Virginia University law professor is predicting new challenges for the state coal industry.  James Van Nostrand is a law professor at the WVU law school, who specializes in energy law. He fully expects legal challenges to be presented by the coal industry in response to the EPA’s new guidelines which are slated to be released this week.

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