Coal

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An employee at a Kentucky coal mine has been sentenced for violating the federal Mine Safety and Health Act.

Kenn W. Kiser, morgueFile.com

Several lawmakers from the Ohio Valley region have joined a bipartisan push to fund what’s called carbon capture and storage. That technology can strip CO2 from power plant emissions. But it is also extremely expensive. Glynis Board of the Ohio Valley ReSource reports that the mounting urgency to address climate change has caused some who were skeptical of the technology to take a fresh look.

In China's coal country, Shanxi Province, the black stuff is a more than just a source of income — it is a source of identity. Lumps of it are for sale at the national coal museum, in elegant, satin-lined gift boxes. The rest of the coal museum is faded and out of date, much like the city of Taiyuan, where it is located, about 300 miles southwest of Beijing.

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Alpha Natural Resources has announced the transfer of mostly idle mining properties in West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee to Lexington Coal Co., related ongoing royalty payments and reclamation equipment. 

On Capitol Hill Thursday, Energy Secretary Rick Perry defended a controversial proposal to subsidize coal and nuclear power plants. "There's no such thing as a free market in energy," he said in testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. "Governments are picking winners and losers every day."

It was a remarkable statement, coming days after EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt derided such tipping of the scales as he moved to repeal the Obama-era Clean Power Plan.

Peabody Energy, Inc., via Wikimedia Commons

The Environmental Protection Agency’s move to end the Clean Power Plan is the Trump administration’s latest attempt to support the struggling coal industry. The Department of Energy is also pushing a new way to subsidize coal power. But a new study suggests market forces — not regulations — will still make more coal power plants in the region vulnerable.

Armstrong Energy Inc. website

A coal company that operates five mines in west Kentucky is planning to halt production at its Ohio County mine.

Glynis Board, Ohio Valley ReSource

  Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt used a trip to Kentucky coal country to announce the Trump administration’s plans to dismantle a regulation that sought to limit carbon pollution.

Erica Peterson, WFPL

  A coal industry advocate told Kentucky lawmakers on Thursday that “coal is not a silver bullet” for the country’s energy needs, but said coal should still play a role as natural gas and renewable energy continue to grow.

Southwings and Vivian Stockman

For more than a decade Ohio Valley residents have been asking government agencies to respond to science that links coal mining to health problems in nearby communities. Last year the prestigious National Academy of Sciences launched a study on the issue. But the Trump administration has stopped it. Glynis Board reports on what that means for coal communities and the scientists studying them.

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