Coal

Environment
9:26 am
Mon December 1, 2014

EPA Expected to Finalize First Federal Coal Ash Regulations This Month

Coal ash stored in a landfill at LG&E's Cane Run Power Station.

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 8:01 am

Four-and-a-half years after they were first announced, the Environmental Protection Agency plans to finalize the nation’s first federal rules on the handling of coal ash this month.

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Environment
4:52 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Judge's Rejection of Kentucky Coal Company Settlement Points to Bigger Issues

Originally published on Tue November 25, 2014 3:30 pm

A settlement between the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet and a coal company won’t be allowed to go forward after a Franklin County Circuit judge’s rejected the proposal Monday.

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Business
5:48 pm
Sat November 15, 2014

Billionaire Spent Millions In Charity, But Avoided Mine Fines

Jim Justice owns Southern Coal Corp., which has 71 mines that have racked up thousands of violations and millions of dollars in fines.
Scott Halleran Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 15, 2014 9:54 pm

Among the mining executives that NPR investigated, one coal mine owner in West Virginia stands out. His mines owe nearly $2 million in overdue fines, while he, himself, is a prominent billionaire.

Jim Justice is West Virginia's richest man, with a net worth of $1.6 billion, according to Forbes. He owns 70 active mines employing 1,200 miners in five states. In addition to running his businesses, he has invested or given away more than $200 million in the last five years.

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Delinquent Mines
4:08 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Top Delinquent Mine Has Deadly Legacy

Outside the D&C Mining Corp. mine near Cranks, Ky. The company owes more than $4 million in unpaid safety penalties.
Howard Berkes NPR

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 9:31 am

Mine foreman Rome Meade screamed his final words: "Back up! Back up!" he shouted, as a trailer loaded with concrete blocks weighing a total of 10,000 pounds smashed him into a conveyor belt.

Other miners rushed to help, running bent over in the underground coal mine that was only 3 to 5 feet high. When the trailer pulled away, Meade's crushed body crumpled to the floor. One miner shouted his name over and over. Another pressed fingers to Meade's neck, detecting a faint pulse.

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Environment
3:19 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Coal Mines Keep Operating Despite Injuries, Violations And Millions In Fines

This photo of Roy Middleton working underground at the Kentucky Darby mine now sits on the mantel in the Middleton home in Harlan County, Ky. He was killed after an explosion in 2006.
Anna Boiko-Weyrauch/NPR Original photo courtesy of the Middleton family

Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 8:21 am

Jack Blankenship was pinned facedown in the dirt, his neck, shoulder and back throbbing with pain.

He was alone on an errand, in a dark tunnel a mile underground at the Aracoma Alma coal mine in Logan County, W.Va., when a 300-pound slab of rock peeled away from the roof and slammed him to the ground. As his legs grew numb, he managed to free an arm and reach his radio. For two hours, he pressed the panic button that was supposed to bring help quickly.

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Health
9:53 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

Community Health Impact: Shawnee Fossil Plant

Credit http://www.kyenvironmentalfoundation.org/health-impact-assessments.html

The Kentucky Environmental Foundation has released its Health Impact Assessment for Paducah's Shawnee Fossil Fuel Plant. The report comes as the Commonwealth braces for new EPA regulations on coal plant emissions.  

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Politics
4:53 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

Video Purports to Show Grimes' Dislike of Coal. What Does It Really Say?

In a photo released by her campaign, Alison Lundergan Grimes visits a Floyd County coal mine earlier this year.

Originally published on Mon October 6, 2014 4:27 pm

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.

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Environment
6:22 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Where Do Kentucky’s Gubernatorial Candidates Stand on Coal and Climate Change?

Credit wikipedia.org

As candidates to become Kentucky’s next governor scramble to pledge allegiance to the coal industry, there’s one question they’re not addressing: Does burning coal contribute to climate change?

None of the three announced candidates for governor—former Louisville Metro Councilman Hal Heiner and Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, both Republicans; nor Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway—have offered a statement one way or another about whether they agree with the scientific consensus that burning fossil fuels like coal makes the planet warmer and destabilizing the climate.

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Environment
8:51 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Can a Kentucky Politician Win By Being Candid About Coal's Decline?

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 9:01 am

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. 

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Politics
10:37 am
Fri August 8, 2014

McConnell Campaign Lashes Out After Report Ties Wife to Anti-Coal Group

Senator Mitch McConnell and his wife, former U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, at the Fancy Farm picnic.

Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 11:05 am

A report linking Republican Mitch McConnell’s wife to an aggressive anti-coal campaign has drawn angry reactions from the Kentucky senator’s re-election team.

McConnell is on a two-day bus tour in the eastern half of the state, countering stops earlier this week by Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes.

On Wednesday, Grimes told a Hazard audience that  she was the more pro-coal candidate.

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