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Energy Developers Pull The Plug On The Atlantic Coast Pipeline

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WVPB) — Developers of the Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline announced Sunday they are canceling the project, citing ongoing delays and rising costs. In a news release, Dominion Energy Inc. and Duke Energy Corp. attributed the decision largely to a barrage of legal challenges brought by landowners and conservation groups that have slowed down… Read More

This March 15, 2018 photo shows a natural gas drill rig in Belmont County, Ohio.

Plan for Ethane ‘Cracker’ Plant in Belmont County Takes a Step Forward

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CLEVELAND (AP) — A partnership proposing to build an ethane “cracker” plant in Ohio has reached economic development agreements to pay two government entities millions in the coming years. A spokesman says that while the agreements are an important step, PTTGC America and Daelim Chemical USA have not made an investment decision on building the… Read More

Chet Blankenship was buried in the lawn beside his home.

Clean Water Wanted: Contaminated Wells and the Legacy of Fossil Fuel Extraction

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“You seen that one with the tombstone up there?” seven-year-old Timothy Easterling asks, looking toward the grass just uphill from his home. “That’s my papaw.” Timothy’s grandfather Chet Blankenship died in 2016, at age 69. Blankenship lived on land he and his family have long owned at the end of a road atop Bradshaw Mountain… Read More

The coal power station on the border between WV and PA

Amid Climate Debate and Coal’s Decline, West Virginia Considers its Future

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On a recent soggy Wednesday evening, dozens of West Virginians packed a conference room inside the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center to discuss the need for a “just transition” for coal-impacted communities. As the nation grapples with climate change, the need for a fair transition for workers and communities that depend upon coal jobs and… Read More

An energy meter

House Turning Attention Toward Energy Grid Modernization

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For the last decade, Ohio lawmakers were locked in heated debates over how the state should address energy generation, from bailing out nuclear to rolling back green energy standards. With a new law that does both of those on the books, House and Senate leaders are starting to turn their attention to a different energy debate: modernizing… Read More

Demonstrators shouting chants outside of a House Public Utilities Committee hearing in the Ohio Statehouse.

Protesters Protest Bill Strengthening Penalties for Damages Sustained During Protests

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A coalition of advocates say the bill, which creates a new criminal mischief prohibition, can have a chilling effect on protesting at places like oil and gas pipelines. About two dozen people from environmental, anti-poverty, and religious groups interrupted a House committee meeting with loud chants. Their demonstration spilled out of the committee room and into a… Read More

Miners assemble on railroad tracks to block a shipment of coal from a Blackjewel mine.

Bankrupt Blackjewel Coal Still Racking Up Environmental Violations, Officials Warn

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An attorney for the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet told a federal judge Wednesday that the bankrupt coal company Blackjewel has accrued nearly 300 environmental violations since it entered bankruptcy in July. “It’s essential that these violations are addressed, abated, and that they stop accruing,” Cabinet attorney Lena Seward told bankruptcy judge Frank Volk in the… Read More

Petitioner gathering signatures for HB6 referendum

Nuclear Bailout Opponents End Their Referendum Attempt

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The group that was fighting to overturn Ohio’s nuclear power plant bailout has dropped its case in court which means the plan for additional fees on electric bills to subsidize nuclear and coal will carry forward. Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts wanted voters this fall to overturn the law, through HB6, that bails out nuclear plants, subsidizes coal plants, rolls back… Read More

The coal power station on the border between WV and PA

2020 Hindsight: The Ohio Valley’s Decade in Data

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The year: 2009. A Senator from Illinois named Barack Obama has just made history upon taking the presidential oath of office. The national economy is at a low point in the Great Recession. And the Pittsburgh Steelers are the first NFL team to win six Super Bowls. Ten years later, as 2019 gives way to… Read More

This March 15, 2018 photo shows a natural gas drill rig in Belmont County, Ohio.

Ohio Governor Meets with Proposed Belmont Co. ‘Cracker’ Plant Developer

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CLEVELAND (AP) — Ohio’s Republican governor and lieutenant governor met Wednesday with officials from one of the companies proposing to build a multi-billion dollar ethane “cracker”plant in southeast Ohio. A spokesman for Gov. Mike DeWine said no “substantive update” would be provided from the meeting in Columbus with board members from Thailand’s PTT Global Chemical…. Read More

Solar Panels

PUCO Rejects AEP’s Solar Project Plan

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State regulators have denied AEP’s plan to charge ratepayers a fee for what would be the largest solar project in Ohio. The decision came down to whether electric customers needed the power plant in order to justify the additional cost to electric bills. AEP proposed guaranteeing the purchase of solar power from two plants in Highland County, currently in development. But the Public… Read More

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky.

Bill Addresses Pensions, Health Care for Miners, Retirees

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is co-sponsoring a bill with West Virginia’s two U.S. senators and others aimed at preserving the pensions of about 92,000 retired coal miners, as well as the health-care benefits of another 13,000 working miners. Democrat Joe Manchin and Republican Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia announced… Read More

A windfarm

Advocates Want Ability to Reject Ohio Wind Farm Proposals

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Republican lawmakers in the Ohio House and Senate are pushing for a bill that would allow township voters to reject wind farm projects through a referendum. Wind companies have proposed putting up more than 200 new wind turbines in northern Ohio. Those proposals are filed with the Ohio Power Siting Board. But Rep. Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin) and… Read More

Piles of coal

EPA Proposes Changes to Federal Coal Ash, Wastewater Rules

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Federal environmental regulators released proposed changes to two rules related to the disposal of coal ash and wastewater from coal-fired power plants. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday announced its third round of changes to its 2015 rule regulating coal ash. Coal ash is one of the largest waste streams in the country and often contains toxic… Read More

AEP logo

Newspaper: AEP Retains Drilling Rights Under New Ohio Park

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Thousands of acres in eastern Ohio the state is buying to promote recreation and conservation may be drilled for oil and natural gas, an Ohio newspaper reported. A draft purchase agreement obtained by The Columbus Dispatch shows American Electric Power will retain subsurface rights to more than 31,000 acres it is selling to… Read More

Murray Energy CEO Bob Murray speaks at the EnVision Forum

Murray Energy CEO Lashes Out at “Feckless” Federal Officials Over Coal Subsidy Plan

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Coal executive Bob Murray clashed Monday with federal energy regulators at a Lexington, Kentucky, energy forum over what Murray called a failure by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to sufficiently support the struggling coal industry. “The word that I’ve been using to describe FERC is feckless,” Murray told the audience, including FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee…. Read More

Wayne National Forest sign

No Bidders for Coal Leases Inside Wayne National Forest

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NELSONVILLE, Ohio (AP) — The federal government says it received no bids during a competitive lease sale for coal underneath about 430 acres of Ohio’s Wayne National Forest. The Bureau of Land Management-Eastern States released the results of last week’s offering on Tuesday. Leases involved seven tracts in Perry and Morgan counties that contain an… Read More

Norton City Manager Fred Ramey poses at Flag Rock Recreation Area.

The Coal Town Betting Big On Outdoor Recreation

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Standing on the breezy outlook at Flag Rock Recreation Area, Norton City Manager Fred Ramey is taking in the panoramic view of downtown Norton, Virginia. The brick building-lined streets are framed by the verdant, rolling Appalachian mountains. Jagged, brown scars from mountaintop mining operations can be seen in the distance, reminders of the region’s history… Read More

Wayne National Forest sign

Government Sells Coal Leases for Wayne National Forest Land

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NELSONVILLE, Ohio (AP) – The federal government is holding a competitive lease sale for coal underneath nearly 500 acres inside Ohio’s Wayne National Forest. The Bureau of Land Management-Eastern States says Wednesday’s sale involves seven tracts in Perry and Morgan counties that contain an estimated 1.4 million tons of sub-surface mineable federal coal. The offering… Read More

Environmental groups posted signs in Shadyside, OH.

Settlement Reached Over Proposed Ohio Cracker Plant Air Permit

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Environmental groups have reached a settlement agreement with a petrochemical company  in Ohio to beef up air pollution controls at a proposed petrochemical plant along the Ohio River. Thailand-based PTT Global Chemical America and South Korea-based Daelim Industrial Co. have proposed building a multi-billion dollar ethylene cracker plant on a 500-acre tract of land in Belmont County,… Read More

A sign warns of an abandoned uranium mine. Two such mines, in addition to a former mill site, surround the Red Water Pond Road Community in the Navajo Nation.

While “Zombie” Mines Idle, Cleanup And Workers Remain In Limbo

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The sound of metal banging against metal broke the calm on the high mesa separating Colorado’s Paradox and Big Gypsum valleys. An old rusted headframe marked the entrance to an abandoned uranium mine that, from a distance, looked as if its workers were simply off on a lunch break. Jennifer Thurston, a local environmentalist, paused… Read More

Piles of coal

Kentucky Labor Cabinet Requesting Bond Payment from Coal Companies

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Labor Cabinet has sent letters to coal and construction companies that might be in violation of a state law that requires a bond to cover employee wages. The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that over the last few weeks, the cabinet wrote to 89 companies that have failed to pay the bond. Last… Read More

Matt Hepler of the advocacy group Appalachian Voices.

Idle Lands: Justice Coal Group Top User Of Loophole Allowing Mine Lands To Sit Idle

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Standing at an overlook on the top of Black Mountain — the tallest point in Kentucky —  the wooded Appalachian mountains stretch on like a sea of green for miles. For many, this mountain is synonymous with the coal industry. It straddles the state line separating Harlan County, Kentucky and Wise County, Virginia, two communities… Read More