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Black Lung, Red Ink: Residents Press McConnell As Deadline Looms For Black Lung Fund

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On a cool but clear November day about a dozen residents from eastern Kentucky’s coal mining region crowded into the lobby of an office building in the small town of London, Kentucky. That’s where Kentucky’s powerful senior senator, Mitch McConnell, has his local field office. McConnell’s staff let the local advocates for black lung treatment… Read More

US Coal Consumption Drops To Lowest Level Since 1979

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WASHINGTON (AP) – A federal report says Americans are using less coal this year than at any time since Jimmy Carter’s presidency. That’s despite the Trump administration’s efforts to revive the country’s coal industry. The U.S. Energy Information Administration projected Tuesday that the country will end 2018 having used less coal than at any time… Read More

Mine Workers Sue Federal Regulators Over Controversial Mine Safety Decision

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The United Mine Workers of America is suing the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration, or MSHA, after the agency reduced its heightened oversight of a West Virginia coal mine with a poor safety record. MSHA has the power to declare mines with a history of significant safety violations as having a “Pattern of Violations.”… Read More

GOP Tax Bill Would Extend Endangered Funding for Disabled Miners

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As Appalachian coal miners suffer from a historic surge in black lung disease, a federal trust fund that supports some of those miners has been scheduled to lose a significant portion of its funding. A new tax bill in Congress includes a provision to extend the coal excise tax that supports the trust fund. With… Read More

Groups Say Smart Reclamation Of Mine Lands Could Be “Appalachia’s New Deal”

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From solar farms in Virginia to a green energy subdivision in Kentucky, a new report by a group of regional advocacy organizations highlights 20 ready-made projects across the Ohio Valley that could give abandoned mining operations that were never cleaned up a second life, and create new economic opportunity across the region. In the report, released Tuesday,… Read More

KY Coal Mine That Belonged To WV Governor Causes Damaging Floods Again

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The rain started around 10:30 p.m. By midnight, the creek in front of Elvis and Laura Thackers’ house had swelled to a mighty flood, uprooting trees, moving boulders and surging right up to the couple’s front steps. The Thackers decided to abandon their home. But when they got into their Jeep, they found the flood… Read More

Companies Sue WV Gov.’s Family Companies Over Debts But Find Bank Accounts Empty

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The Justice family companies’ difficulties paying taxes over the years are well documented. But tax collectors haven’t been the only ones trying to recover debts from companies once operated by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and now in control of his family. A review of court documents by the Ohio Valley ReSource found at least five cases in… Read More

Safer Direction? Top Mine Regulator Addresses Concerns About Dust And Deaths In Coal

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As President Trump attempts to revive the struggling coal industry, the administration’s top regulator for mine safety used a recent lecture at West Virginia University to lay out his priorities for the agency charged with keeping miners safe. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health David Zatezalo outlined the Trump administration’s priorities for… Read More

Trump Power: Industry Analysts Say New Rule Will Not Fuel Coal Comeback

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When President Trump wants to talk coal, he comes to West Virginia. So it was not surprising that the president visited Charleston just hours after his administration unveiled a long-awaited overhaul of the Obama administration’s signature climate change regulation, the Clean Power Plan. “We’re cancelling Obama’s illegal, anti-coal-destroying regulations. The so-called Clean Power Plan,” Trump… Read More