Energy & Environment

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.

Tire Pile
SuperJew / wikimedia commons

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is holding several events for residents to dispose of tires this month.

The Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan events will be Wednesday in Summers County; Saturday in Ohio, Boone and Hardy counties; June 15 in Doddridge County; and June 21 in McDowell County. Events were held previously in Upshur and Harrison counties.

Kenn W. Kiser / morguefile.com

Many political leaders in the Ohio Valley approve of President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement. But surveys indicate that public opinion across the region varies, with a slight majority saying they’d like the country to stay the course on climate change.

 


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, independent producer Jean Snedegar takes us on a journey through the history of the Mountain State's timber legacy.

And A Change of Tune's Joni Deutsch kicks off her second season of 30 Days of West Virginia Music series. We'll hear a portion of her interview with Adam Meisterhans, of the band Rozwell Kid.

A large log landing -- Green Mountain, Tucker County, circa 1910.
Photo courtesy of Robert C. Whetsell

"Just as we came to the hills, we met with a Sycamore.....of a most extraordinary size, it measuring three feet from the ground, forty-five feet round, lacking two inches; and not fifty yards from it was another, thirty-one feet round."

– George Washington, written while exploring the Great Kanawha River, Nov. 4, 1770

Flood, Greenbrier
Steve Helber / AP Photo

Flood-affected communities in southern West Virginia are receiving federal aid to help clean up brownfield sites for future development. 

Michael Virtanen / AP

MATOAKA, W.Va. — The red caboose parked at the edge of a rundown commercial block is the only rail car some people have seen in Matoaka in more than a year.

It bears the markings of the Norfolk and Western Railway, a company merged years ago and absorbed into oblivion, like Amoco and Oldsmobile. It has come to rest here, a relic of the past.

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch through Monday morning for southwest West Virginia, as well as northeast Kentucky and southwest Virginia.

The watch begins Saturday afternoon.

The service says there's a risk of severe thunderstorms Saturday with damaging winds, large hail and an isolated tornado possible.

gary cohn, jim mattis
Evan Vucci / AP

The president's chief economic adviser is casting doubt on the future of U.S. coal, saying it "doesn't really make that much sense anymore as a feedstock," directly contradicting President Donald Trump's repeated promises to revive the struggling coal industry.

Briefing reporters Thursday night on Air Force One, Gary Cohn singled out natural gas as "such a cleaner fuel." By exporting more natural gas and investing in wind and solar energy, the U.S. "can be a manufacturing powerhouse and still be environmentally friendly," Cohn said.

Two Dead After Explosion in Barbour County

May 24, 2017
Barbour County
David Benbennick / wikimedia commons

Two people are dead in Barbour County this afternoon following an explosion at Midland Resource Recovery, according to Barbour County Emergency Management.

One other person was injured and taken to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown.

Its 1,700-foot arch made it the longest single-span arch bridge in the world.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / New River Gorge, Fayette County, Fayette Station Road

Water safety instruction will be given this weekend at New River Gorge National River.

The National Park Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are offering their annual safety program on Saturday and Sunday. Water safety activities are free and offer the chance for anyone to learn how to be safe during recreational activities around water.

State authorities say a 44-year-old shuttle car operator has been killed at a mine in southern West Virginia.

The Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training says Luches Rosser of Man, West Virginia, was operating a locomotive when the incident occurred after 11 p.m. Thursday at the Pinnacle Mining Co. mine in Wyoming County.

Courtesy: Shell Chemicals

Legislators from Ohio and West Virginia are hoping to capitalize on the natural gas boom by building a new ethane storage hub in the region.

pipeline
AP Photo/Sergii Ryzhkov

The State Historic Preservation Office says a natural gas pipeline project across Ohio hasn't honored an agreement to pay for harm done to historic properties.

The Repository in Canton reports the Rover Pipeline agreed to pay $1.5 million annually for five years but hasn't made the first payment, which was due two months ago. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has jurisdiction over the project and has been asked to handle the dispute.

stars
wikimedia

Stargazers are being invited to watch the sky over central West Virginia this weekend.

The fourth annual Calhoun Stargaze is set for Friday through Sunday at the Calhoun County Park in Grantsville. The park is known for its pitch-dark conditions for favorable nighttime viewing.

Coal has long had a grip on American politics. That's why politicians worry about its fate. They tout the fossil fuel's contribution to the U.S. economy, but lately they've also been trying to find a way to clean up coal's image.

"HydroFrac2" by Mikenorton - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:HydroFrac2.svg#mediaviewer/File:HydroFrac2.svg

A study from Duke University found no evidence that groundwater is threatened by horizontal gas drilling. Surface water might be another story.

Melissa Thomas Van Gundy at the  Fernow Experimental Forest in Tucker County, W.Va.
Jean Sendegar / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Editor's Note: This story is part of an occasional series from independent producer Jean Snedegar about the timber and forest products industry here in the Mountain State – from seedlings to final products.

One of the oldest and largest industries in West Virginia is the timber and wood products industry.  West Virginia is rich in this renewable natural resource, but the housing downturn that began 10 years ago hit the industry hard. 

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The CEO of the nation’s biggest public utility said Tuesday that the agency isn’t going to reopen coal-fired power plants under President Donald Trump, who has promised a comeback for the downtrodden coal industry.

Tennessee Valley Authority CEO Bill Johnson said he thinks very little will actually change for the federal utility under Trump.

DuPont's Washington Works
Parkersburg News & Sentinel

Critics say DuPont has spent too little on testing Ohio and West Virginia residents for contamination from a chemical used to make Teflon, while paying millions to a lawyer overseeing the testing program.

The Columbus Dispatch reports DuPont spent about $860,000 on testing over a 2 ½-year period for contamination from the chemical used to make Teflon at its Washington Works plant, along the Ohio River.

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