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Power Plant: How A Grass Might Generate Fuel And Help Fix Damaged Mine Lands

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Down bumpy back roads deep in central West Virginia, a flat, bright green pasture opens up among the rolling hills of coffee-colored trees. Wildflowers and butterflies dot the pasture, but West Virginia University Professor Jeff Skousen is here for something else that stands above the rest of the Appalachian scenery – literally. Thick stalks of… Read More

W.H. Sammis Coal Plant in Stratton, Ohio.

“Death Spiral.” How A Carbon Tax Could End Some Coal Towns … Or Fund A New Future

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Declining coal tax revenues place coal-reliant counties in Appalachia at risk of fiscal collapse, according to new research from the centrist Brookings Institution and Columbia University. Policies designed to prevent further climate change would accelerate that decline, the report found, but could also provide a new stream of revenue to help communities rebound from coal’s… Read More

Powering Down: Ohio Community Reckons With Coal Plant Closure

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Brick buildings line the wide sidewalks of Main Street in downtown Coshocton, Ohio. On a recent spring day the dogwood trees are blooming. Bright red and white tulips dot the grassy public square, home to the local courthouse and a gazebo. There are barber shops, an optometrist, a florist, a railroad-themed steakhouse is open for… Read More

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Mountain Valley to Pay $266K for Environment Violations

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and Mountain Valley Pipeline have agreed the latter will pay $266,000 for environmental violations dating back to April 2018. The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the consent agreement dated April 19 was made public Tuesday. MVP has received at least 20 notices of violations in several… Read More

Remembering A Coal Miner Who Stood Up For Those With Black Lung

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Robert Bailey started mining coal in southern West Virginia’s McDowell County in the 1970s. By the time he retired from the Patriot Coal Company 36 years later he was already having trouble breathing. By the time I first interviewed Bailey in 2014, his black lung disease had become severe. “I’m in the process of a lung transplant,” he… Read More

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Pipeline Protester Arrested, Faces Felony Charge

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LINDSIDE, W.Va. (AP) – A West Virginia official says a North Carolina man protesting the Mountain Valley Pipeline has been charged with a felony. Monroe County Circuit Court deputy clerk Andrea Preston told the Bluefield Daily Telegraph that 22-year-old Holden Dometrius was charged Thursday with threat of terrorist acts after chaining himself to a piece… Read More

W.H. Sammis Coal Plant in Stratton, Ohio.

FirstEnergy Solutions Preparing New Filing In Bankruptcy Case

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FirstEnergy Solutions, which runs coal and nuclear plants in Ohio, is working on a new bankruptcy proposal after a federal judge denied their initial filing. FES is filing for bankruptcy, in a restructuring plan that would officially separate the company from its parent company FirstEnergy Corp., the energy distributor. Dick Munson, senior director for the… Read More

Gov. Justice takes the oath of office as his son James C. Justice III (center) looks on.

Mine Safety Debt For WV Gov. Justice’s Family Companies Grows to $4M

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An Ohio Valley ReSource analysis of federal mine safety data shows that the companies belonging to the family of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice owe $4.3 million in delinquent debt for mine safety violations. That is far more than the companies owed when Justice ran for governor in 2016, when he pledged to make good… Read More

President Donald Trump speaks at Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima, Ohio

Trump Backtracks on Call to Gut $300M Great Lakes Program

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TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — President Donald Trump tried repeatedly to gut funding for a wide-ranging Great Lakes cleanup, only to be stymied by Congress. Suddenly, he did an about-face. It happened Thursday during a campaign-style speech in the battleground state of Michigan. For years, the program the Obama administration established in 2010 enjoyed bipartisan… Read More