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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

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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