Erica Peterson

Erica reports on environment and energy issues for WFPL, which run the gamut from stories about the regionââââ

A new epidemiological study adds to the growing body of scientific evidence that mountaintop removal coal mining is harmful to the health of nearby residents.

The study published last week in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Science and Technology used dust samples from homes near a mountaintop removal site in West Virginia, as well as a control site far from mining in the eastern part of the state.

The two major party candidates for Kentucky’s U.S. Senate seat faced off in their first—and likely only—televised debate on public television Monday night.

Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Kentucky’s Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes traded barbs in the forum moderated by Kentucky Educational Television’s Bill Goodman.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and the host of Kentucky Sports Radio had a series of sharp exchanges Wednesday in a broadcast interview that tackled topics ranging from same-sex marriage to global climate change.

McConnell called in to Kentucky Sports Radio and spoke for over 10 minutes with host Matt Jones, who has made repeated pleas for an interview. McConnell's Democratic opponent in the November election, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, spoke with Jones and KSR in September.

Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes isn’t being honest with voters about her support of Kentucky’s coal industry, according to a video released today by the conservative Project Veritas.

The video by James O’Keefe—who was widely criticized for deceptively editing a video about ACORN in 2009—relies on hidden camera interviews with Kentucky Democratic officials about Grimes and coal, but ultimately doesn't prove much about where she truly stands on coal.

West Virginia is accepting bids on a plan to allow hydraulic fracturing for natural gas (or “fracking”) beneath the Ohio River. The move would provide the state with much-needed revenue, but environmental and citizen groups are concerned about the possible contamination of drinking water for millions of people.

Louisville is one of the communities downriver that uses the river for drinking water.

More than $329,000 in federal grants are coming to Kentucky for solar energy and energy efficiency projects in rural areas.

A new report by the federal Government Accountability Office raises concerns about electricity reliability in the United States as coal-fired power plants close to comply with environmental regulations.

The GAO report updates one the office originally published in 2012. That report estimated anywhere from two to 12 percent of the country’s coal-fired power plants would be retired by 2025. But now, the new data suggests the number is actually 13 percent.

Jack Corn / Environmental Protection Agency-National Archives


The most severe form of black lung disease is at levels not seen since the early 1970s, according to new data from the National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety.

Kentucky doesn’t distinguish itself in a new report quantifying so-called “clean energy” jobs announced around the country in the second quarter of 2014.

Here’s an essential Kentucky political truth: politics and the state’s coal industry are intertwined.

That’s one of the reasons both of Kentucky’s Senate candidates—Republican Mitch McConnell and Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes—have been nearly indistinguishable on the subject.

But coal’s fortunes in Kentucky have been declining for decades.