coal

Environment
11:49 am
Mon September 10, 2012

West Virginia Environmental Activist Larry Gibson Dies

Larry Gibson on Kayford Mountain.
Vivian Stockman Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition

News started rolling in via blogs and Twitter last night that prominent anti-mountaintop removal activist Larry Gibson was dead at age 66.

Gibson returned to his family's home on Kayford Mountain in Kanawha County, West Virginia in 1986, and spent the next quarter-century fighting the mountaintop removal operations that were slowly surrounding his land.

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Environment
3:17 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Lull in Mining Means $88 Million Less in Revenue

A slowdown in Kentucky's mining industry is causing financial problems. Diminished severance tax revenue could force some planned construction projects in the coalfields to be postponed.

Revenue from the state's coal severance tax is plummeting, with mines shutting down and miners being laid off.

Deputy State Budget Director John Hicks told lawmakers today that coal tax revenue is projected at $245 million this year. That's $88 million less than was expected when lawmakers passed the budget less than five months ago.

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Environment
7:45 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Indian Newspaper Reports Huge Kentucky-India Coal Deal May Be in Jeopardy

Harry Schaefer U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

The Hindustan Times is reporting that a government investigation in India could put the huge Kentucky-India coal deal in question. This is the $7 billion trade deal that was announced last month to much fanfare.

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Environment
10:35 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Sierra Club to Hold Rally Against Coal at UK

The Sierra Club is planning a rally at noon today at the University of Kentucky to protest the ties between the school's athletic department and the coal industry.

UK and the coal industry have a fairly close relationship--the men's basketball dorm is called the Wildcat Coal Lodge, after coal industry contributions, and there have been prominent coal advertisements during some athletic events.

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Environment
4:30 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

Alabama Plant Begins Capturing, Sequestering Carbon Dioxide

The smokestacks at LG&E's coal-fired Cane Run power plant.
Erica Peterson WFPL

A pilot project to capture and store carbon dioxide has begun at a power plant in Alabama. The effort at the Barry Electric Generating Station began in full at the end of last month.

The plant is big, and the carbon-capture apparatus is small, so only about one percent of the flue gas is actually being captured. But the fact that the carbon dioxide is also being transported about 12 miles through a pipeline and sequestered deep in the earth is an important step for the technology.

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Environment
2:03 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

MSHA Reports Success With Increased Efforts to Protect Whistleblowers

The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration is reporting increases in the number of miners who have filed discrimination complaints after reporting safety violations.

Federal law protects miners who report unsafe working conditions to employers, or refuse to work until the problem is fixed. But Assistant Secretary of Labor Joe Main says that after the explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia two years ago, it was obvious many miners were afraid to exercise their rights.

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Environment
4:30 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

Murray Energy Sues WV Newspaper, Reporter for Libel

A coal operator is suing a West Virginia newspaper and reporter for libel.

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Environment
5:45 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

Report Says Nation's Newest Coal Plant Isn't as Cheap as Promised

Prairie State Energy Campus
Prairie State

A large coal-burning power plant in Illinois that provides electricity to some areas of Western Kentucky and Indiana is under fire. A non-profit analyzed the costs of the plant and the numbers suggest ratepayers in eight states are paying more than they should.

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Environment
3:20 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Does the Huge Kentucky-India Coal Deal Make Sense?

Coal on a barge in the Kanawha River in 1973.
Harry Schaefer U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Last week, there was huge news for the coal industry. Kentucky coal producers signed a deal to export up to nine million tons of coal a year for the next 25 years, to the reported tune of $7 billion.

I’ve already covered why the deal is good news for struggling Appalachian coal producers (but not good enough news to turn the industry around), the extent of Rep. Keith Hall’s involvement, and what the increased coal exports could mean for the environment. But now I’m hearing conflicting opinions about why this deal actually happened in the first place, and whether or not it makes sense.

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Environment
2:11 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

My Morning Jacket Featured in National Campaign Against Mountaintop Removal

The members of Louisville rock band My Morning Jacket appear in a new campaign by non-profit Earthjustice that opposes mountaintop removal coal mining.

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