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Coal Comfort: Trump’s EPA And Energy’s Winners And Losers

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The Environmental Protection Agency’s move to end the Clean Power Plan is the Trump administration’s latest attempt to support the struggling coal industry. The Department of Energy is also pushing a new way to subsidize coal power. But a new study suggests market forces — not regulations — will still make more coal power plants in the… Read More

EPA’s Pruitt Visits Kentucky Coal Country To End Clean Power Plan

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Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt used a trip to Kentucky coal country to announce the Trump administration’s plans to dismantle a regulation that sought to limit carbon pollution. Pruitt visited Hazard, Kentucky, to make official what had long been anticipated: that he plans to halt implementation of the Clean Power Plan. The Obama-era regulation aimed… Read More

Manchin Opposes Trump’s Mine Safety Nominee

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West Virginia Democratic U.S. Senator Joe Manchin will not support the Trump administration’s nominee to lead the federal agency in charge of mine safety. Manchin said in a statement that he will not support David Zatezalo to lead the Mine Safety and Health Administration, or MSHA. Zatezalo, a Wheeling, West Virginia, resident and formercoal company executive, was named… Read More

The New Normal: Super-Storms Highlight Importance Of Disaster Planning

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Harvey. Irma. Maria. The hurricane season’s super-charged storms have highlighted the importance of disaster planning, and the aftermath offers a fresh lesson in just how long and difficult recovery can be. Communities in the Ohio Valley, some still recovering from flash floods themselves, are looking at ways to prepare for what emergency management professionals warn… Read More

Strip Mining Science: Trump Administration Stops Mining Health Study

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The Perry County Public Library in Hazard, Kentucky, lies along Black Gold Boulevard — a name that nods to the wealth the coal from these hills has generated. On a recent Tuesday evening, however, the library was the venue for a hearing about the full costs of extracting that coal. A team from the National Academy… Read More

Trump Administration Halts Mining Health Study

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The Trump administration’s Department of the Interior has asked the National Academy of Sciences to suspend research into the health effects of mountaintop removal coal mining. A team from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine was established last year for a two-year study. The committee has been conducting hearings and investigating accumulating science on the… Read More

Coal Hard Cash: WV Governor Wants Federal Money For Eastern Coal

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The country’s newest Republican governor is, like President Donald Trump, a billionaire businessman, a political outsider, and a fan of the coal industry. West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, a former coal company owner, was elected as a Democrat but switched parties with a surprise announcement at a Trump rally in West Virginia. Both Trump and Justice campaigned… Read More

In The Pipeline: New Commission Members To Take Up Energy Projects

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Big-ticket gas pipelines and other energy projects pending in the Ohio Valley have largely been in limbo because the federal body that issues important permits had too many empty seats. Those projects in the pipeline of the federal process could soon move forward with the confirmation of two Republicans nominated by President Donald Trump to… Read More

Considering Compassion: The Science Behind The Ohio Valley’s “Compassionate Cities”

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Many towns and cities across the Ohio Valley try to improve their business environment with tax breaks, site development, and other incentives. But how about investing in compassion? A growing body of science points to compassion as an economic driver and more businesses and cities around the region are willing to give compassion a chance…. Read More

Paradise Cost: Coal, Natural Gas, And The True Price Of Power

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Thanks to singer-songwriter John Prine, Paradise Fossil Plant might be the only coal-fired power plant that has a household name. “Paradise,” Prine’s 1971 ballad, drew on boyhood memories from the small town of Paradise, in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, to relay the environmental and social costs of our dependence on coal. “Mr. Peabody’s coal train,” he… Read More