3:46 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Both McConnell and Grimes Vow to Fight New EPA Regulations

Alison Lundergan Grimes and Mitch McConnell
Credit Secretary of State's Office/U.S. Senate

Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes jousted Monday over who better defends the Kentucky coal industry against new federal pollution standards.

The Environmental Protection Agency's groundbreaking regulations announced Monday aim to reduce carbon dioxide emissions at power plants.

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5:41 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Kentucky Coal Association Warns Alison Lundergan Grimes Against Taking Environmentalist's Donations

Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes
Credit Grimes campaign

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Coal Association is warning Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes against taking donations from a California billionaire known for environmental activism.

Grimes attended a meeting in Chicago on Tuesday with major Democratic donors. She is seeking the nomination to run against Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell in the fall.

The donors included NextGen Climate Action President Tom Steyer, who has pledged to work against candidates in favor of coal production in the United States.

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2:47 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

What Kentucky's New Law on Carbon Dioxide Emissions Actually Means

Credit Erica Peterson/WFPL

Ignoring words of caution from his own administration, Governor Steve Beshear signed a bill directing the state’s Energy and Environment Cabinet to create a Kentucky-specific plan for regulating carbon dioxide emissions into law earlier this month.

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7:00 am
Mon April 14, 2014

New Website Seeks Memories of Eastern Kentucky Coal Camps

This schoolroom photograph from Balkan, KY was submitted to the Coal Camp Documentary Project by former resident James Walters.
Credit Family of James Walters / Coal Camp Documentary Project

A new project at the University of Kentucky is trying to document the state’s eastern coal camps, before memories of the area are lost forever.

The Coal Camp Documentary Project is a website that’s seeking to collect memories and photographs of the numerous coal camps that once existed in Eastern Kentucky. Some are still there, but many have been abandoned or demolished.

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3:12 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

What 'Occasional' Really Means Is Key to Sierra Club's Planned Lawsuit Against LG&E

Credit Erica Peterson / WFPL

Last week, environmental groups announced their plans to sue Louisville Gas & Electric for pollution the company releases into the Ohio River from its Mill Creek power plant in Louisville. Sierra Club organizers took a year’s worth of time lapse photos from a hidden camera across the river from the plant, and captured a near-constant flow of water from Mill Creek’s coal ash pond into the river.

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6:56 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Kentucky Senate Restores Mine Inspections to 6 Per Year

Credit Decumanus / Wikimedia Commons

The Kentucky Senate will likely restore funding for state coal mine inspections.

Currently, mines get six state inspections a year. A previous draft of the budget cut the number to two. Senate President Robert Stivers says his chamber will likely restore funding for six inspections.

But that doesn't mean Stivers wants to keep the amount of money exactly the same. He says the House budget didn’t address the reduction in the number of coal mines, which he argues requires fewer inspections.

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11:40 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Beshear Administration Warns Senate Budget Could Be Devastating to Coal Mine Safety

Decumanus Wikimedia Commons

The Kentucky Senate has passed its version of the budget, and the state’s Energy and Environment Cabinet is warning it could have dire consequences for coal mine safety.

The Senate’s version of the budget cuts the amount of money the state’s Office of Mine Safety and Licensing to $2,643,200. That’s a 65 percent cut from the amount of money Governor Steve Beshear recommended in his budget, and a 50 percent cut from the House’s version of the bill.

In a statement, Energy and Environment Cabinet officials said the change would hurt the state’s coal industry.

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9:32 am
Thu March 20, 2014

General Assembly: Kentucky Coal-Fired Power Plants Can Regulate Their Own Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Credit Decumanus / Wikimedia Commons

A bill allowing coal-fired power plants in Kentucky to regulate their own carbon dioxide emissions has passed out of both chamber of the state legislature.

The legislation was filed by Rep. Jim Gooch, a Providence Democrat, who has private interests in coal-related businesses. His bill permits coal power plants in Kentucky to regulate their own levels of CO2, one of the major contributors to climate change.

The bill passed in his chamber, as well as the Senate, by unanimous vote.

The bill now heads to the governor’s desk.

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8:51 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Using Hidden Camera Evidence, Environmental Groups Plan to Sue LG&E for Discharges into Ohio River

LG&E's Mill Creek Power Station
Erica Peterson WFPL

Update 1:25 p.m.: Comments from Division of Water and Louisville Gas & Electric.

After collecting a year's worth of images of what they say are illegal discharges from one of Louisville Gas & Electric's coal ash ponds into the Ohio River, environmental groups say they plan to sue the company.

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9:00 am
Sun March 9, 2014

Five Awesome Kentucky Coal Camp Photos From the National Archives

A miner. P V & K Coal Company, Clover Mine, Lejunior, Harlan County, Kentucky.
Credit Russell Lee / Department of the Interior/Wikimedia Commons

In the 1940s, photographer Russell Lee spent two years working for the United States Department of the Interior in Eastern Kentucky. During that time, he took thousands of pictures of coal miners and their families--many of which were centered in Harlan and Bell counties.

Lee's work contributed to health and safety changes that came about later in the mining industry, according to the Texas State Historical Association.

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