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Retired coal miners joined lawmakers from the Ohio Valley on Capitol Hill Wednesday for another attempt to protect miners’ pensions. Pensions are at risk because of a downturn in the coal market, the lingering effects of the 2008 recession, and coal company bankruptcies which have all reduced the amounts companies paid into a shared, or multiemployer, pension… Read More
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Dozens of retired coal miners visited lawmakers in Washington to call for legislative action to preserve the pensions of about 87,000 retirees and another 20,000 working miners. United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts says the 2008 recession and mining company bankruptcies have endangered the miner’s pension plan, established in… Read More
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
A federal prosecutor announced new charges against a senior coal company official for conspiring to falsify the required monitoring of coal dust. The case comes amid a surge in cases of black lung disease and widespread allegations from miners that cheating on dust monitors is common in the mining industry. Western Kentucky District U.S. Attorney… Read More
It’s been two years since President Donald Trump took office and began rolling back environmental regulations on the coal industry. At a November rally in Huntington, West Virginia, the president took credit for a coal comeback in front of a cheering crowd. “We’ve ended the war on beautiful, clean coal and we’re putting our coal… Read More
In West Virginia, mining jobs have been declining for years, and there have been few other options to make a living. The Appalachian Beekeeping Collective is hoping to help turn that around.
Federal regulations for silica dust in coal mines haven’t changed in decades. But since an NPR/Frontline report into black lung, some are calling for a new response.
Following a failed attempt to address a looming crisis in many multi-employer pension programs, two Ohio Valley lawmakers have introduced a bill in Congress to shore up the shaky pension plan for coal miners. The bill also aims to protect health benefits and restore funding for the federal trust fund providing benefits for thousands of… Read More
Just a few months ago, the U.S. coal mining industry was on track for its safest year in history. But in an eleven-day span in late December, three miners died after separate incidents, bringing the total number of fatalities in 2018 to 12, even as coal mining employment continued its decline. “It is a reminder… Read More
On a cool but clear November day about a dozen residents from eastern Kentucky’s coal mining region crowded into the lobby of an office building in the small town of London, Kentucky. That’s where Kentucky’s powerful senior senator, Mitch McConnell, has his local field office. McConnell’s staff let the local advocates for black lung treatment… Read More