Energy & Environment

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Late last week, President Trump announced the federal government would stop Affordable Care Act subsidies to insurance companies, which the White House argues are illegal.

While the move affects just a small slice of the overall insurance market, it's been met with widespread opposition from health advocacy groups, who say it’s an attempt to further destabilize the Affordable Care Act insurance markets.

Federal Regulators Approve Atlantic Coast, Mountain Valley Pipelines

Oct 13, 2017
Pipeline awaits construction.
SETH PERLMAN / ASSOCIATED PRESS

A divided panel of federal regulators granted approvals Friday evening for the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley natural gas pipelines, major East Coast projects.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s authorization had been widely expected by both supporters and opponents of the pipelines. The certificates granted by the commission came with dozens of conditions, and other necessary permits for both projects are still pending.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Building in Washington, D.C.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

Federal environmental regulators say they have again found signs of potentially troubling levels of toxic contamination at a former mining equipment operation in West Virginia.

Peabody Energy, Inc., via Wikimedia Commons

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 a new study suggests market forces — not regulations — will still make more coal power plants in the region vulnerable.

Wikimedia Commons

Technology now in limited use removes about 90 percent of carbon dioxide from the smokestacks of coal-fired power plants, but energy experts say cost remains the chief obstacle to bringing the "clean coal" touted by President Donald Trump into the mainstream.

Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broacasting

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt used a trip to Kentucky coal country to announce the Trump administration’s plans to dismantle a regulation that sought to limit carbon pollution.

John Deskins, director of the WVU Bureau of Business and Economic Research
WVU / WVU

West Virginia University's chief economist says the state is on the rebound but will have relatively weak growth in the next five years.

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.

 

Fire, Forest FIre
Fæ / Wikimedia Commons

Updated on Monday, October 23 at 3:49 p.m.

The nearly 200-acre wildfire in a remote area of Grant County is now 90 percent contained. As of Friday, no smoke or heat has been visible within the fire area.

The North Fork Mountain Trail has also been reopened, and Area and Trail Closure signs have been removed.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, our series featuring people who are struggling to stay or leave Appalachia continues. We’ve been following the story of Dave Hathaway, a former coal miner in Pennsylvania.

Last week, we heard about Dave’s struggle as an unemployed father of two trying to hold onto his dignity while his wife works. He and his wife are committed to staying in Greene County, even though the job choices are thin. The Allegheny Front’s Reid Frazier has our next installment of Dave’s Struggle to Stay story.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP Images

West Virginia Democratic U.S. Senator Joe Manchin will not support the Trump administration’s nominee to lead the federal agency in charge of mine safety. 

 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A biologist is studying how some insects might be adapting to a changing climate. Scott Hotaling is studying stoneflies that live in glacial regions in the north, and how these animals might be evolving. We'll hear about a grant the city of Huntington is receiving to help first responders combat the drug abuse epidemic. 


National Park Service

Five West Virginia counties will see federal funding to support improvements to their outdoor facilities.

Nearly $800,000 in federal grant money has been awarded to facilities in Tucker, Summers, Wayne, Marshall and Berkeley counties.

Deer
Scott Baue / U.S. Department of Agriculture

West Virginia wildlife officials say an online interactive map with information about hunting and fishing around the state has been updated.

Division of Natural Resources Director Stephen McDaniel says the map at www.wvdnr.gov can be useful for hikers and boaters as well.

Golden Rainbow Trout, Trout
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online.

Some lakes and streams in West Virginia will receive special stockings of golden rainbow trout next year.

The Division of Natural Resources says the releases will be held in early April to lead off the spring trout stocking season.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the hurricane season’s super-charged storms highlighted the importance of disaster planning, and it’s not just a concern for the coasts. Scientists warn that heavy rain events have become more common in the Ohio Valley. Glynis Board looks at how some flood-prone communities are preparing for what experts call “the new normal” of extreme weather.

photos by Kara Lofton, illustration by Jesse Wright

Harvey. Irma. Maria. The hurricane season’s super-charged storms have highlighted the importance of disaster planning, and the aftermath offers a fresh lesson in just how long and difficult recovery can be.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, geologic studies indicate West Virginia is the largest geothermal hotspot on the East Coast. So why don’t we hear more about it? Liz McCormick reports, some counties in West Virginia have been pushing the envelope for a future in geothermal energy use.

Tuscarora Elementary School, Geothermal
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

We hear a lot about coal and natural gas in West Virginia - even solar and wind. But what about geothermal energy? Science indicates West Virginia is the largest geothermal hotspot on the east coast. So why don’t we hear more about it? Well, some counties in West Virginia have been pushing the envelope for a future in geothermal energy use…like in a handful of public schools.

Mirijana Beram

Ohio's environmental regulators have more than doubled the proposed fines against a company building a natural gas pipeline from West Virginia to Michigan, saying Wednesday the two sides are at an impasse.

The fines now stand at $2.3 million and stem from what the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency says are numerous water and air pollution violations during construction of the $4.2 billion Rover Pipeline.

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.

Monroe County
David Benbennick / Wikimedia Commons

An earthquake that struck parts of Virginia and West Virginia appears to have left little to no damage.

The Roanoke Times reported Wednesday that the quake shook parts of the New River Valley shortly after 1:30 p.m. No damage was immediately reported.

New Mine Safety 'Assistance' Program Raises Concerns

Sep 14, 2017
MSHA

Lawmakers and union leaders are raising concerns about the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration’s practices amid an increase in coal fatalities.  

 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, lawmakers and union leaders are raising concerns about practices at the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration amid an increase in coal fatalities. As Becca Schimmel reports, officials are asking questions about MSHA’s compliance assistance program.

A jury’s verdict ordered an oil and gas company, EQT, to pay Doddridge County residents for trespassing and building a shale gas drilling pad without expressed permission.

Elk, Standing Elk
Albert Herring / Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia's elk population dropped to 22 after two elk collided with an ambulance.

News outlets report a calf and an elk died after they jumped over the median on U.S. 119 and collided with an ambulance Monday morning. No patients were in the ambulance and the two ambulance personnel were unharmed.

Nicole Erwin / Ohio Valley ReSource

Pipeline ready for construction.
Seth Perlman / Associated Press

West Virginia environmental regulators are rescinding approval for building the Mountain Valley Pipeline, which would carry natural gas down the center of West Virginia for 195 miles.

In a letter Thursday, the Department of Environmental Protection said it's vacating the water quality certification issued in March, which followed review of the projected impact on the state's waters and public hearings.

Updated at 5 a.m. ET Monday

Irma has weakened since beginning its push up central Florida, but is still a Category 1 hurricane with winds near 75 mph and higher gusts, according to the National Hurricane Center. Its center is about 60 miles north of Tampa and continues to move along the northwest coast of the Florida peninsula. The NHC says Irma is expected to weaken to a tropical storm this morning and tropical depression by Tuesday afternoon.

Hay, Farm, Bale of Hay
Pixabay

West Virginia officials are warning farmers about the possibility that their hay could be contaminated by recent flooding.

The state Agriculture Department said in a news release feeding contaminated hay to animals can be dangerous.

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