coal mining

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.

Armstrong Energy Inc. website

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

Becca Schimmel, OVR

A bipartisan Congressional group from the Ohio Valley and beyond introduced a new bill to save pensions for retired union coal miners throughout the region.

Courtesy office of Sen. Manchin

West Virginia Democratic U.S. Senator Joe Manchin will not support the Trump administration’s nominee to lead the federal agency in charge of mine safety. 

MSHA

Lawmakers and union leaders are raising concerns about the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration’s practices amid an increase in coal fatalities.  

MSHA

  President Trump has nominated a retired West Virginia mine executive to lead the nation’s top mine safety agency. David Zatazelo is the former head of Rhino Resources, a coal company that was the focus of scrutiny by regulators in 2011 over safety violations. The nomination comes as mine safety experts are expressing concern over a rash of fatal coal mining accidents. This year, 12 miners have died -- eight of them in West Virginia and Kentucky.

WKMS File Photo

A board that was ostensibly responsible for reviewing coal miners’ training and reviewing all proposed coal mine safety regulations will hold its last meeting next week.

Alexandra Kanik | Ohio Valley ReSource

Coal country is waiting to see if President Trump’s rollbacks of environmental regulations will boost the mining business. But some bipartisan proposals before Congress offer different ways to help. Ohio Valley ReSource reporters offer some analysis of three ideas that could help to mend mining country.

Becca Schimmel | Ohio Valley ReSource

Retired miners will not lose their health benefits, as had been feared, thanks to last-minute action from Congress. However, Congress did not act on the miners’ faltering pension benefits fund, which supports some 43,000 retired miners in the Ohio Valley region.

From video courtesy Sen. Joe Manchin

Congressional leaders are cautiously optimistic that a budget deal could protect health benefits for retired miners.

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