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Environment
3:13 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Alpha Natural Resources Will Lay Off 200 Coal Miners in Eastern Kentucky

Decumanus Wikimedia Commons

Coal company Alpha Natural Resources announced today it will idle four underground mines in Harlan and Letcher counties. Two hundred miners will lose their jobs, while about sixty people will be moved to other positions or other mines.

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Environment
3:21 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Kentucky Utilities to Pay Millions For Alleged Clean Air Act Violations

Erica Peterson/WFPL

Kentucky Utilities will spend $57 million to install updated pollution control equipment and pay civil penalties under the terms of a proposed consent decree.

The money will go to installing a sulfuric acid mist emission control system at the company’s Ghent power plant, replace a coal-fired boiler and pay $300,000 in fines to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Here’s what the EPA said about the settlement in a news release:

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Environment
8:55 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Non-Profit, Metro Government in Talks Over Agreement on Botanical Garden Site

Credit Botanica

A group working to establish a botanical garden across from Waterfront Park is making progress. Efforts have sped up over the past year and non-profit Botanica now has a draft agreement with Metro Government for the site.

The organization has a vision of a 22-acre botanical garden, with different themed gardens and a conservatory for indoor plants. Botanica board president Brian Voelker says the outdoor gardens will be designed to maximize the usable space.

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Environment
5:19 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

U.S. Coal Industry Not Well-Positioned to Benefit From Increased Short-Term Global Demand

Decumanus Wikimedia Commons

Earlier this month, the International Energy Agency released its medium-term outlook on coal...and concluded that countries like India and China will be burning more coal over the next five years. So much, in fact, that coal could even surpass oil as the world's top energy source by 2017. But that rise in coal production doesn't mean that any of it will come from Central Appalachia.

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Environment
9:03 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Local Chapter Aims to Make Energy Economics Accessible for Everyone

Louisville’s chapter of the U.S. Association for Energy Economics is planning for a full 2013.

The Louisville chapter of the USAEE has been around for about five years, but chapter activities and lectures have been sporadic. The group aims to provide education and networking opportunities for everyone interested in energy—from professionals to the community as a whole.

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Environment
3:59 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Indiana Regulators Approve Modified Deal for Coal Gasification Plant

Regulators have approved a settlement that prohibits Duke Energy from passing on to consumers all the costs the company will incur building a coal-gasification plant in southwestern Indiana.

Costs for the plant in Edwardsport have increased substantially since it was proposed in 2007, and the latest estimate is $3.5 billion. Under the new agreement, Duke’s customers will pay nearly $2.6 billion for the plant, while the utility will be forced to absorb nearly $900 million in cost overruns.

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Environment
12:13 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

EPA Head Lisa Jackson Announces Resignation; Twitter Reacts

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announced her plans to leave her post after President Obama's inauguration. During her time in the role, she drew fire from the coal industry and manufacturers for her work to increase scrutiny of mountaintop removal coal mining and tighten regulations on coal-fired power plants. But she also won support from environmental groups and occasionally grudging respect from her opponents.

Her successor is unknown, but reports are speculating it could be either Deputy Administrator Robert Perciasepe or Assistant Administrator for Air Gina McCarthy.

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Environment
10:22 am
Thu December 27, 2012

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson Resigns

Lisa P. Jackson
Credit Environmental Protection Agency

WASHINGTON — Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson says she's stepping down after nearly four years on the job.

Jackson announced her departure in a statement Thursday. She gave no particular reason for leaving but said she was ready for new challenges, time with her family and new opportunities to make a difference.

Jackson's tenure was marked by high-profile brawls with industry and congressional Republicans over such issues a global warming pollution, the Keystone XL oil pipeline and new controls on coal-fired plants.

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Environment
8:30 am
Wed December 26, 2012

Kentucky Representative Plans to Re-Introduce Energy Portfolio Bill

Fernando Tomas Wikimedia Commons

A Louisville lawmaker says she plans to re-introduce a bill during the upcoming legislative session to institute a statewide energy portfolio standard.

This will be the third year Representative Mary Lou Marzian has introduced some version of the Clean Energy Opportunity Act. Last year, the bill would have offered incentives for in-state renewable energy production, and mandated that utilities get at least 12.5 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2023.

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Environment
3:00 pm
Tue December 25, 2012

Give Your Christmas Tree a Second Life as a Fish Habitat

There are lots of ways to dispose of your Christmas tree this year. If you leave it on your curb and live in the Urban Services District, Metro Government will pick it up. If you bring it to one of several different locations, you can watch it be recycled into mulch. Or, you can drive it to one of 20 drop-off locations around the state and donate your tree to be used for a fish habitat.

Yes, a fish habitat.

The Kentucky Division of Fish and Wildlife is collecting the used trees to deposit in lakes. Joseph Zimmerman is an environmental biologist with the division.

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