Energy & Environment

Coal Stock Pile
www.mine-engineer.com

Just months after emerging from bankruptcy, Alpha Natural Resources has revealed $100 million in what it calls "unaccounted for obligations," causing West Virginia regulators to worry that the burden puts the company at further risk of financial failure.

 

The Alpha disclosure, made in a recent bankruptcy court filing, has increased fears about there being adequate money available to complete proper reclamation on hundreds of Alpha mining permits across West Virginia, The Charleston Gazette-Mail reported.

A recent breakdown at an Ohio River dam served as a wake-up call about the aging infrastructure that keeps river commerce flowing. The Ohio is one of the country’s busiest working rivers and some navigation controls are approaching the century mark. I went to see these ailing structures and a new multi-billion dollar project in the works.

Critical Stretch of River

Last month the Coalfield Development Corporation and Solar Holler announced they would expand an already existing partnership to help transition miners from coal jobs into a new industry. The announcement meant a new training facility at West Edge in the Westmoreland neighborhood of Huntington, but will work with laid off miners throughout the state’s southern coalfields.

Jeff Bright

Mountain Party gubernatorial candidate Charlotte Pritt is no stranger to the political scene. She spent 8 years as a state legislator in the ’80s into the ’90s. Then she ran for governor and almost won in ’96. She made history once, and she’s hoping to do it again.


Grandview
Mackensen / Wikimedia Commons

A nonprofit group is raising money to repair a popular overlook near Grandview National Park. 

The Register-Herald of Beckley reports that the Turkey Spur overlook was revamped in 2015, but burned as a result of arson a few months later, destroying most of the improvements.

A group called Friends of the New River Gorge National River is now trying to raise the money locally to use as matching funds in various grant applications that would fund the overlook repairs.

water faucet
wikimedia

The city of Vienna is back on its own water system and no longer has to rely on Parkersburg's help.

The Parkersburg News and Sentinel reports that Vienna Mayor Randy Rapp and Parkersburg Mayor Jimmy Colombo on Tuesday morning turned the valve shutting off the water from Parkersburg to Vienna after almost six months of use.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A federal judge has tentatively approved a $151 million settlement involving two companies sued over a 2014 chemical spill that contaminated drinking water in southern West Virginia.

U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver approved the proposed deal Monday afternoon after more than two hours of closed-door negotiations on the wording of the agreement.

Elk River
Malepheasant / wikimedia Commons

Lawyers say a tentative deal has been reached with West Virginia American Water Co in a class-action case over the company's handling of the 2014 water crisis in the Kanawha Valley.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports no details were made public, but a judge has scheduled a Monday hearing when attorneys said more information is expected to be available.

Energy, heat, money, thermostat, heat pump, furnace
Dave Mistich via Tableau Public

A federal agency has released nearly $26 million in funding to help low-income families in West Virginia with energy bills and energy-efficiency upgrades.

The money comes from The Administration for Children and Families and its Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Representatives from energy and manufacturing industries, as well as policy makers came to Wheeling this week to talk about infrastructure challenges in the region.

Wikimedia commons / Brandon W. Holmes

The state commerce secretary, a congressman and the Republican nominee for governor are headlining an energy conference in northern West Virginia.

The Consumer Energy Alliance's West Virginia Energy and Manufacturing Forum will take place Wednesday at the Oglebay Conference Center in Wheeling.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Jury selection begins Tuesday in Charleston in the class-action lawsuit against a chemical company and a water utility. 

The trial over a 2014 chemical spill that resulted in the contamination of more than 300,000 people’s drinking water is set to begin this week. 

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

For more than half a century along the Ohio River, the chemical company DuPont provided jobs for thousands of people. One chemical they produced is PFOA, commonly known as C8. It was a remarkably useful compound, used in “Teflon” non-stick cookware, stain-resistant fabrics, and even in some food wrappers.

Energy and health care. They’re the two issues in the presidential race that could have the greatest impact on West Virginians.

On this week's Viewpoint, we look at where the Democrat Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump stand on the two issues with a report from The Allegheny Front's Reid Frazier and an interview with Kara Lofton, West Virginia Public Broadcasting's Appalachia Health New Coordinator. 

National Transportation Safety Board

A report by the National Transportation Safety Board says the design of a railcar that leaked chlorine at a New Martinsville plant had been under scrutiny.

The NTSB issued the preliminary report Monday detailing the Aug. 27 chlorine gas spill at the Axiall Natrium plant.

AllVoices.com

Coal producer Alpha Natural Resources has sold some of its eastern Kentucky coal property to a Texas company.

The company says it has divested most of the assets of its Enterprise mining operations to Kingdom Coal, a subsidiary of Keystone-Kingdom Resources based in Fort Worth.

pipeline
AP Photo/Sergii Ryzhkov

The lawyer for the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline has asked the West Virginia Supreme Court to overturn a lower court order that blocked the developer from surveying Monroe County landowners' property without their permission.

The survey work has been halted since Monroe County Circuit Court Judge Robert Irons' ruled in August 2015 that pipeline officials hadn't established that the project would provide sufficient public use to justify entering private property without an owner's permission.

Elk River
Malepheasant / wikimedia Commons

A judge has ruled against local workers who sued a water company to recoup wages lost during a January 2014 chemical spill.

Fotolia DollarPhoto Club

About 12,500 union coal miner retirees are receiving letters warning them they'll lose their health benefits on Dec. 31 without congressional action.

The Patriot Voluntary Employee Beneficial Association shipped the letters last week. The United Mine Workers of America retirees worked at mines run by now-bankrupt Patriot Coal, Peabody Energy and Arch Coal.

AP Photo

A defiant Don Blankenship declared himself an "American political prisoner" on his blog, blaming others for the 2010 mine explosion that killed 29 men and landed the former West Virginia coal operator in federal prison.

The ex-Massey Energy CEO posted the 67-page booklet Tuesday and said he'll distribute it to 250,000 people.


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