Voices of Appalachia on EPA Regs, Ky. Fancy Farm Picnic, Beaten Biscuits and more


Appalachian voices sound off at hearings about proposed EPA regulations:  “Our jobs our securities, for our families, I’m a recent retiree my benefits may be in jeopardy.”

But some residents are supporting new regulations: “We need to make it clear that the EPA does have the authority and the mandate and moral obligation to reign in CO 2 emissions.”

A Kentucky political tradition goes without a strong voice: “Darling if you want to use your outside voice you can go over there and play on the playground, OK. We’re trying to get some serious conversation going on so you can go over there play on the playground.”

Appalachia Sounds Off During EPA Hearings in Pittsburgh: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently hosted hearings across the country including Pittsburgh on Friday. The public was invited to speak out about a proposed rule to cut carbon dioxide emissions in power plants. The plan is up against serious opposition from the coal industry, but environmental groups say it doesn’t go far enough.  The Allegheny Front’s Reid Frazier reports.  

Natural Gas Jobs Growth Slows: A new workforce survey of natural gas companies shows that although the Marcellus Shale industry continues to create new jobs, the rate of growth is slowing down. StateImpact Pennsylvania’s Marie Cusick reports.

Fined for Polluting:  A Canadian coal mining company has reached a settlement with the federal government over Clean Water Act violations at several former mining sites in Western Kentucky. As Kentucky Public Radio Erica Peterson reports, Elgin Mining Company will pay more than $3 million in fines.

How is Climate Change Affecting Allergies and Asthma?: If even hearing the word “ragweed” makes your eyes water, you might be one of the nearly 45 million Americans with seasonal allergies. And allergists say the number of people with sensitivities to Ragweed and other plants is growing. As carbon dioxide levels rise, so does pollen. The Allegheny Front’s Julie Grant looks at how climate change is fueling the rise in allergies and asthma.

Organic Farmer Protests Compressor Station: Many farmers have embraced natural gas development on their land over the last several years. They’re making money while many other farmers are struggling. Although some cattle farmers have blamed illness among their herds on the natural gas industry, others farms coexist with drill rigs. Now one western Pennsylvania organic farming business has been rallying customers against the placement of a compressor station proposed for nearby land. The Allegheny Front’s Ashley Murray went to the farm and a contentious hearing in the heart of the community.

Would You Visit a Religious Theme Park?: A controversial religious theme park planned for northern Kentucky has been granted a new round of tax breaks by the state. Kentucky Public Radio’s Jonathan Meador reports that the proposed Ark Encounter will be given millions of dollars in tax incentives to boost tourism in the region. 

Kentucky Politics, Without Gatewood Galbraith: For 134 years, the Fancy Farm political picnic has played a big part in Kentucky politics.  This year the event will be without one its most legendary thump speakers. Let’s go again to Jonathan Meador to find out more.

Have You Heard from the Eastern Screech Owl?: During the summer this animal is a little bit more conspicuous than usual because they’re younger and newly out-and-about. That means other birds notice and gang up on the owls making a lot of noise. Here’s Bob Mulvihill, an ornithologist at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh.

Take a Walk on Fossil Beds: The Falls of the Ohio State Park in Clarksville, Indiana,  just across the river from Louisville, will soon offer visitors a chance to explore a rarely-seen area of the park’s fossil beds. Kentucky Public Radio’s Rick Howlett reports.

How About a Beaten Biscuit?: It’s one of the hallmarks of Appalachian cuisine. In our last segment we learn more about the long history of the beaten biscuit from food writer Fred Sauceman, writer of the book, “Buttermilk and Bible Burgers: More Stories from the Kitchens of Appalachia”.