Coal

Environment
6:49 am
Mon May 25, 2015

Could a Federal Judge's Decision on Colorado Coal Mine Permits Affect Kentucky?

Credit Image: coalcampusa.com

  A federal judge in Colorado has ruled the federal government should have taken the indirect environmental effects of expanding the Colowyo and Trapper coal mines into account before issuing a permit. These “indirect effects” include the environmental toll of burning the coal in power plants. But because of differences in the way western and eastern coal mines are regulated, it’s hard to say what effect, if any, this ruling could have on Appalachian mines.

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Government
10:09 am
Fri May 22, 2015

Drop in Coal Severance Tax Revenue Blamed for Hopkins Budget Cuts

Credit Wikimedia Commons/Author: PixOnTrax

Hopkins County is facing a nearly five percent budget cut thanks in large part to a reduction in coal severance tax revenue. The county is home to multiple underground mining operations. The severance tax revenue goes to counties based on a formula that includes the tonnage of coal extracted and its price. The $1.34m reduction won’t prompt any layoffs, according to Judge Executive Donnie Carroll.

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Business
6:20 am
Mon May 4, 2015

More Than 1,200 Kentucky Coal Jobs Have Been Lost So Far This Year

Credit Austin Ramsey, WKMS

Coal jobs in Kentucky declined sharply in the first quarter of this year, according to the state’s latest quarterly coal report.

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Business
8:08 am
Fri March 20, 2015

State's Overall Unemployment Continues to Fall, Coal Jobs Remain Stagnant

Credit Austin Ramsey, WKMS

As Kentucky's overall unemployment rate continues to fall, employment in the coal mining industry is somewhat stagnant. The state's jobless rate for February came in at 5.2 percent, the lowest since the fall of 2004. 

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Environment
4:42 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Kentucky Doesn't Have Any More Working Union Coal Miners

Credit Frankie Steele/Louisville Public Media

 

For the first time in about a century, no union coal miners are working in Kentucky. The state’s few remaining union miners were laid off New Year’s Eve when Patriot Coal’s Highland Mine in Western Kentucky shut down, the United Mine Workers of America confirmed.

“Appalachia was always a really tough nut for the union to crack, and I think maybe Kentucky was the toughest nut of all,” said labor historian James Green, author of a new book about West Virginia’s mine wars.

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Environment
1:55 pm
Mon February 2, 2015

Obama Budget Includes Millions for Coalfields Communities

Credit NRDC

President Obama released his proposed budget today, and for the first time, the plan includes direct funding to help coal communities transition away from economies based on fossil fuels. 

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Politics
3:55 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Elaine Chao Resigns from Bloomberg Board As Philanthropic Group Ramps Up Clean Energy Grants

Credit wikipedia

Elaine Chao has resigned from the board of Bloomberg Philanthropies as the foundation revs up its commitment to its clean energy initiative.  Chao was Secretary of Labor in President George W. Bush’s cabinet and is also the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.  

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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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