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Clipped Wings: Trump Weakens Law That Protected Birds For A Century

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On a recent chilly Tuesday morning, about 20 people filed along a winding dirt path leading deeper into West Virginia University’s Arboretum in Morgantown. Armed with binoculars, smartphones and hiking boots, the group had one goal — spot and identify the chittering birds hidden in the trees above. LeJay Graffious with the Mountaineer Audubon chapter… Read More

Shine A Light: Regional Effort To Aid Puerto Rico Caught In Trump’s Solar Tariffs

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Far from the ocean and Puerto Rico’s famous beaches, narrow roads wind into mountains not unlike the country roads of our home, West Virginia. After hours of driving we reach a rural community in the island’s center called Tetuan Tres. Like so many places in rural Appalachia, you don’t come here accidentally. We’ve come to… Read More

Lung Transplants Rise Amid Region’s Black Lung Epidemic

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The Appalachian coalfields are in the midst of an epidemic of severe black lung disease. The debilitating and even deadly disease has recently begun to affect miners as young as 30. Dust from coal mines has scarred these miners’ lungs, so little of the air they breathe gets absorbed. In central Appalachia, researchers say, one… Read More

FirstEnergy Emergency Request Could Be A Last Chance To Help Coal Power

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Ohio-based utility FirstEnergy Solutions made waves last month when it asked the Department of Energy to grant it an emergency order to help keep coal and nuclear plants operating across the Ohio Valley. The request even hit the president’s radar. Speaking earlier this month at a roundtable event in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, Donald… Read More

Fracking Waste Disposal: Still A Hot Mess

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  The slogan for Estill County is “where the bluegrass kisses the mountains.” But since 2015 the county, population 15,000, is widely known as the place where radioactive material generated by the oil and gas industry in a process known as fracking was dumped near some schools. As the Ohio Valley ReSource reported in 2016, tons of waste from the drilling… Read More

Change Of Mined: Study Highlights Appalachia’s Tough Task Ahead

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At a recent conference in Lexington, Kentucky, economists and community leaders gathered to talk about the state’s current budget crunch and possible economic future. Peter Hille, president of Mountain Association for Community Economic Development, said Kentucky and other Appalachian states need to do more to build a new economy and move from dependence on a single… Read More

Burned By Coal: Coalfield Communities Facing Electricity Price Hikes

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One evening this past November, angry customers and public officials filled a high school auditorium in Hazard, Kentucky, and took turns pleading with three members of the state’s public service commission. Angie Hatton, a state legislator representing Letcher and Pike counties, presented the situation in historical terms. “This community that for two centuries has been… Read More

Private Money To Pay For Mining Study Trump Administration Had Stopped

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The prestigious National Academy of Sciences is pursuing private funding to complete a study of the health effects of mountaintop removal coal mining after the Trump administration ordered a halt to the scientific work. The panel of scientists assembled by the National Academies was months into a study of the health effects of surface mining when the Trump administration’s… Read More

R.I.P., CPP? Clean Energy Trend Likely To Continue Despite Trump’s Clean Power Repeal

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West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey stood in front of the state’s capitol to rally the roughly 120 coal miners and industry boosters gathered there. “The fight against the unlawful Clean Power Plan started in Charleston, West Virginia,” Morrisey said, noting the state’s role in a legal challenge to the Obama-era rule. The federal rule would have… 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