The involvement of a state representative in a major coal deal in Kentucky is raising some eyebrows. Under the terms of a new $7 billion contract, Kentucky coal producers will ship nine million tons of coal a year to India for the next twenty-five years. Representative Keith Hall was instrumental in brokering the deal—and he represents both the people of Kentucky and his own private coal interests.
Coal mines in Kentucky and West Virginia will send millions of tons of coal to India, under the terms of a 25-year contract that was signed Wednesday. As Kentucky Public Radio’s Erica Peterson reports, the deal is being hailed as a sign of hope in the coal export market.
Natural gas provides an increasingly large share of the country’s electricity. And now, the fuel is growing in popularity as an alternative to gasoline. A new Louisville plant is betting that natural gas as a vehicle fuel is a technology that will be around for decades or longer.
A new study shows black lung disease isn’t limited to just coal miners who work underground. Studies for coal workers’ pneumoconiosis—or black lung disease—haven’t been done on surface miners in a decade, and the miners were commonly thought to be less at risk for the disease than underground workers.
A common misconception about coal in America is that it accounts for most of the nation’s electricity generation. Coal’s importance to the nation’s energy mix is indisputable, but that influence is on the decline, and is dropping fast.
The past two years of mild winters have led to an outbreak of pests in the Ohio River Valley. Tulip Poplar trees in the region are being threatened by usually large numbers of the tulip scale insect- which attaches to twigs on tulip poplar trees, sucks sap out of the bark and releases a clear, sticky sugary substance that’s commonly called “honeydew.”