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Picturing The Future: A Coal Community’s Comeback

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Can a photograph help a community grow? One photographer is shedding some light on ongoing efforts in a region looking for some new ways to sustain itself. Rebecca Kiger is a documentary and portrait photographer raised in West Virginia. The images she captures are often exceptionally emotionally evocative. She says it takes a lot of… Read More

Justice Delayed: Billionaire Candidate’s Coal Companies Owe $15M in Taxes, Fines

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The Democratic candidate for governor in West Virginia has never held public office. Jim Justice is instead running on his record as a businessman. He runs coal mines, farms, and a luxury resort, and according to Forbes, he’s also the wealthiest person in the state, worth $1.56 billion. A review of records by NPR and… Read More

Mountains Of Evidence: Questions About Coal’s Most Controversial Practice May Finally Be Answered

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The prestigious National Academy of Sciences recently announced a comprehensive study on the health effects of the controversial coal mining practice known as mountaintop removal. For coalfield residents who have long questioned what impact the dust, blasting, chemicals and water contamination was having, the announcement comes as welcome news, if somewhat overdue.   A decade… Read More

Power Play: Experts Say Killing Clean Power Plan Won’t Revive Coal

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Coal-producing states are preparing for arguments next month in the federal appeals court case known as West Virginia v. EPA, challenging the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. The case has major implications for the country’s policy on climate change. But some experts and industry leaders say the… Read More

Shafted: Dark Future Possible For Miners Who Kept Our Lights On

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Miners in Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia who helped keep the country’s lights on are worried that their retirement benefits could go dark as a result of a wave of bankruptcies in the coal industry. They hope Congress will approve a bill called the Miner’s Protection Act to shore up the pensions and health benefits… Read More

Murray Energy Lays Off 200 Workers At West Virginia Mines

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A Murray Energy subsidiary says it has laid off 200 workers at three underground coal mines in northern West Virginia. In a news release Tuesday, St. Clairsville, Ohio-based Murray American Energy announced the layoffs in Harrison, Ohio and Marshall counties. The company blamed the layoffs on the Obama administration’s energy policies, increased use of natural… Read More

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Ohio Utility Regulators Reject AEP Plan For Coal Plants

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Ohio utility regulators have rejected an American Electric Power proposal to guarantee profitability from two of its aging coal plants. The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio ruled Wednesday that the plan was legal but it would not benefit customers. Commissioners declined to authorize a plan to cover the costs of generating electricity from the company’s… Read More