coal

Environment
5:00 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Kentucky Issues New General Permits for Coal Mine Water Pollution

Credit Gabe Bullard / WFPL

The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet has issued two general coal mining permits for water pollution from operations in Eastern and Western Kentucky.

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Environment
12:47 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Approval of W. Va. Surface Mine Renews Calls for Study of Health Effects

Credit Gabe Bullard / WFPL

A federal judge has ruled that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers acted appropriately when it granted a permit for surface coal mining in West Virginia, and some are using the ruling to champion legislation introduced by Kentucky Congressman John Yarmuth.

The lawsuit argued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers didn’t take into account several studies that found mountaintop removal mines have negative effects on human health, and contribute to problems like cancer and birth defects.

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Politics
7:45 am
Sun August 24, 2014

Where Do Kentucky's Gubernatorial Candidates Stand on Climate Change?

Credit Erica Peterson / WFPL

As candidates to become Kentucky’s next governor scramble to pledge allegiance to the coal industry, there’s one question they’re not addressing: Does burning coal contribute to climate change?

None of the three announced candidates for governor—former Louisville Metro Councilman Hal Heiner and Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, both Republicans; nor Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway—have offered a statement one way or another about whether they agree with the scientific consensus that burning fossil fuels like coal makes the planet warmer and destabilizing the climate.

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Environment
2:45 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Regulators Reach Landmark Deal to Reclaim Eastern Kentucky Surface Mines

Credit Gabe Bullard / WFPL

State regulators have reached a comprehensive settlement with an out-of-state coal operator to reclaim former mines in eight Eastern Kentucky counties.

Billionaire Jim Justice—who also owns the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia—has been cited by the state more than 400 times in the last two years for not taking appropriate measures to reclaim his coal mines. Under the terms of the agreement, Justice will pay $1.5 million in fines, and post $10.5 million in bonds.

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Environment
6:57 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Can a Kentucky Politician Win By Being Candid About Coal's Decline?

Credit Harry Schaefer / U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Here’s an essential Kentucky political truth: politics and the state’s coal industry are intertwined.

That’s one of the reasons both of Kentucky’s Senate candidates—Republican Mitch McConnell and Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes—have been nearly indistinguishable on the subject.

But coal’s fortunes in Kentucky have been declining for decades. 

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Politics
5:48 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Kentucky Legislative Hearing Becomes Proxy Battle For GOP Gubernatorial Candidates

Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Len Peters (left) and Assistant Secretary for Climate Policy John Lyons (right).
Credit Jonathan Meador, Kentucky Public Radio

FRANKFORT—A state legislative hearing Friday on proposed federal regulations on carbon dioxide emissions became a flashpoint in Kentucky's Republican gubernatorial primary.

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Environment
7:00 am
Fri August 15, 2014

It's Taking Kentucky Miners Longer to Extract Coal

Credit Decumanus / Wikimedia Commons

As was noted last week, employment in Kentucky’s coalfields has been declining for decades—not just during President Obama’s administration. But there’s another way that statisticians and data wranglers have developed to evaluate the industry: productivity.

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Environment
7:00 am
Thu August 14, 2014

Poll: Carbon Regulations Have Support Among Kentucky Women, African-Americans, Younger Voters

File photo
Credit Erica Peterson/WFPL

Public Policy Polling's survey results released Wednesday had some interesting findings on Kentuckians' attitudes on carbon pollution.

Overall, registered voters were split on their opinion of whether power plants should have to cut carbon dioxide emissions—but women, African-Americans and younger voters overwhelmingly support the limits.

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Environment
8:34 am
Sat August 9, 2014

Coal Workers at Small Mines More Likely to Get Black Lung Disease, Study Finds

In 1974, a miner at the black lung laboratory in the Appalachian Regional Hospital in Beckley, West Virginia, was having his lung capacity tested to determine whether he has the disease.
Credit Jack Corn / Environmental Protection Agency

A new study by the federal government has confirmed what’s been known anecdotally for years: coal miners working in small mines are more likely to get black lung disease. The data underscores the fact that current dust control measures aren’t adequate to protect coal miners.

The study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health—or NIOSH—analyzed data from more than 3700 coal miners between 2005 and 2012.

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Politics
11:28 am
Fri August 8, 2014

McConnell Campaign Lashes Out After Report Ties Wife to Anti-Coal Group

Senator Mitch McConnell and his wife, former U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, at the Fancy Farm picnic.
Credit Alix Mattingly/WFPL News

A report linking Republican Mitch McConnell’s wife to an aggressive anti-coal campaign has drawn angry reactions from the Kentucky senator’s re-election team.

McConnell is on a two-day bus tour in the eastern half of the state, countering stops earlier this week by Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes.

On Wednesday, Grimes told a Hazard audience that  she was the more pro-coal candidate.

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