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Miner Change: Trump’s Big Talk On Coal Brings Small Change in First Year

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Donald Trump loves coal. He campaigned on a promise to put miners back to work and his first year in office included numerous Ohio Valley visits to highlight coal’s importance. “I love our coal miners and they’re coming back strong!” Trump said to a roaring crowd at an August rally in Huntington, West Virginia. At a March rally in… Read More

Clean Power Plan’s Repeal Gets Hearing In Coal Country

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Last month the Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt chose an eastern Kentucky mining town as the venue to announce his intent to repeal the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era rule that sought to limit greenhouse gas emissions. On Tuesday the agency returned to coal country to conduct its only public hearing on the matter… Read More

Controversial Mine Safety Nominee Faces Final Vote

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A Senate vote is scheduled for Wednesday on confirmation for President Trump’s nominee to lead the Mine Safety and Health Administration, or MSHA. The country’s top mine safety position has been vacant since January as coal mining fatalities have risen to a two-year high. Trump’s choice to fill the post is facing opposition from congressional Democrats and… 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

“Matewan” Revisited: Film Unearthed Region’s Buried Labor History

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Thirty years ago the premiere of a small-budget, independent film had an out-sized effect on how many people in Appalachian coal country thought about their region and their past. “Matewan,” directed by John Sayles, depicted a bloody chapter in the fight to organize coal miners in the 1920s, exploring themes of class struggle and pacifism in… Read More

Bipartisan Bill Would Prop Up Coal Miners’ Pensions

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A bipartisan Congressional group from the Ohio Valley and beyond introduced a new bill to save pensions for retired union coal miners throughout the region. The American Miners Pension Act, or AMP, would secure pensions for about 43,000 miners in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia whose retirement benefits have been undermined by the decline of the coal… 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

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

Mending Mining Country: Three Ways Trump Could Help Miners And Coal Communities

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At a March ceremony to sign an executive order reversing Obama-era environmental regulations, coal miners were arranged on stage around President Donald Trump as he took up his pen. “You know what it says, right?” Trump asked the miners. “You’re going back to work.” From his campaign rallies to White House events, President Donald Trump… Read More