Environment

Environment
7:49 am
Wed January 1, 2014

2013 Wasn't a Good Year for Honey Production

ForestWander Wikimedia Commons

Early estimates suggest last year’s honey production was down more than 30 percent. 

The dismal numbers are partially due to problems that have been plaguing honeybees for several years. The insects are dying at alarming rates, and scientists say some combination of pesticide use, viruses and parasites could be to blame.

This is a problem nationwide, but in Kentucky and Indiana weather contributed to both the honeybee die-off and dismal honey production.

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Environment
9:00 am
Sat December 28, 2013

Louisville Launches Online Tree Tracker

Credit Census Data / Wikimedia Commons

An online tracking system has been launched to help monitor and coordinate tree planting around Louisville as residents and officials work to reach Mayor Fischer’s goal of planting 10,000 new trees by 2015.

To date, nearly 8,400 trees have been planted.

Louisville’s Tree Advisory Commission has partnered with Brightside to launch the tracker and officials encourage residents, businesses and neighborhood groups to register all trees planted as early as 2011.

Erin Thompson, the city’s urban forestry coordinator, said the winter season is a great time to plant trees.

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Environment
6:52 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Environmental Group Predicts 2014 Will be Big for Climate, Energy

The leaders of the Natural Resources Defense Council are predicting that 2014 will be an important year for environmental policy.

The NRDC is optimistic about prospects for environmental policies and legislation in 2014. In a conference call to highlight the group’s priorities, Climate and Clean Air Campaign Director Pete Altman notes a continuing trend toward increased political acceptance of climate change science.

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Environment
8:00 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Kentucky Forest Analysis Predicts Industry Will Continue to Grow

Credit Kentucky Division of Forestry

A new analysis of Kentucky’s forest industry estimates that related businesses contributed nearly $13 billion to the state’s economy this year.

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Environment
4:37 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

State Analysis Urges Energy Diversification... This Time, to Keep Coal in the Mix

Erica Peterson WFPL

A new analysis from the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet finds that without policy changes, the commonwealth may be powered almost entirely by natural gas by the middle of the century.

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Environment
11:12 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Cane Run Power Plant Neighbors Sue LG&E Over Coal Ash

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

Several  of the residents living near the Cane Run Power Plant in Southwest Louisville filed a lawsuit on Monday against Louisville Gas & Electric and parent company PPL over persistent coal ash issues in the neighborhood.

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Environment
12:47 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Kentucky Democrats Join Effort Urging Obama to Include Coal in Nation's Energy Future

Harry Schaefer U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Several prominent Kentucky Democrats have signed a letter asking President Barack Obama to work to develop technologies that will allow coal to continue to play a prominent role in America's energy mix.

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Environment
1:59 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

More on the Data Behind the Decline in Kentucky's Coal Industry

Erica Peterson WFPL

Yesterday, WFPL aired a story about the long relationship Eastern Kentucky residents have had with the coal industry, and where coal’s decline leaves the region.

Read: Hollowed Mountains, Now Hollowed Towns: Coal in Eastern Kentucky.

Both the story and the various economic factors at play in Eastern Kentucky are complicated. But I wanted to call attention to one very important point: that even though there’s been a noticeable decline in the eastern coalfields over the past two years, there’s probably going to be an even greater decline in the demand for Eastern Kentucky coal over the next two years.

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Environment
6:55 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Hollowed Mountains, Now Hollowed Towns: Coal in Eastern Kentucky

A truck in Harlan, Ky., proclaims its support for coal and coal miners.
Credit Erica Peterson/WFPL News

HARLAN—People in Eastern Kentucky are used to the ups and downs of a coal-based economy. Prices plummet. Production slows down. Coal miners get laid off. Several months later, prices rise. The phone rings. Miners pick up their helmets and go back to work.

We're in one of those slumps now—but, this time, things are different. In the hardest-hit counties, the bumpers of heavy-duty Ford pickup trucks still host Friends of Coal license plates, next to stickers telling other drivers that coal keeps the lights on. But the winding mountain roads are a little quieter.

You can drive miles without seeing one of the lumbering coal trucks that, for years, carried away the region’s resources.

Coal is embedded into the culture and image of Eastern Kentucky, but the industry is declining in the region. And it's declining permanently. The coal miners—who've known coal through the generations—are being left behind.

Kentucky political leaders largely resort to finger-pointing and rhetoric. 

The coal miners, however, are left with few options but to adapt.

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Environment
12:23 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

East Coast to Kentucky (and Other States): 'We're Sick of Your Air Pollution'

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

The governors of eight Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states are tired of dealing with pollution from the Rust Belt and Appalachia. They’re calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to force tighter air pollution requirements on nine states, including Kentucky and Indiana.

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