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Federal Dust Fraud Charges Highlight Black Lung Threat For Miners

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When former coal mine employees in western Kentucky faced arraignment Wednesday on federal charges that they conspired to falsify the required monitoring of coal dust, the hearing brought renewed attention to the region’s surge in black lung disease. The case highlights the many challenges miners face in the workplace. And health officials in black lung clinics… Read More

Rural Counties Under Stress From Justice Companies’ Unpaid Taxes In Several States

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In October, 2016, NPR, Ohio Valley ReSource and its partners reported that West Virginia billionaire coal baron Jim Justice, who was running for governor as a Democrat, owned companies that owed roughly $15 million in overdue taxes and mine safety fines. This week, Gov. Justice, who is now a Republican, made an announcement about those taxes. “I think we… Read More

Federal Prosecutor Charges Coal Company With Faking Dust Samples Amid Black Lung Surge

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The U.S. Attorney for Kentucky’s Western District unsealed eight fraud indictments Wednesday against employees of the bankrupt Armstrong Energy coal company for falsifying dust monitoring samples in two Kentucky mines. “What the grand jury is charging and what the United States will prosecute is lying and cheating by a coal company to prevent the appropriate… Read More

Trade Troubles: Escalating Trade Threats Could Hit Ohio Valley Coal, Natural Gas

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President Donald Trump’s desire to help boost the Ohio Valley’s energy industry and bring back mining jobs could be stymied by the administration’s escalating trade battle with China and other trading partners across the globe. The Trump administration announced in June $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods, which are set to go into effect on Friday…. Read More

West Virginia Coal Waste Plant In Struggle To Stay Open

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – A coal waste plant at risk of shutting down in West Virginia is hoping to stay open through state proceedings. The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the Grant Town Power Plant’s owner, American Bituminous Power Partners, has teetered on the verge of bankruptcy, according to company filings. In May, the state Public Service… Read More

National Academy Report Urges Stronger Coal Dust Monitoring Amid Black Lung Surge

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A new report from the National Academy of Sciences says the coal mining industry needs a “fundamental shift” in the way it controls exposure to coal and rock dust in order to prevent lung disease among miners. Despite improvements such as an Obama-era rule to strengthen monitoring and control of dust in mines, the experts on the… Read More