Coal

Joel Bowen slips slowly down a telephone pole, his boots fixed with little metal spears to grip the wood.

"It's just like starting all over again, but I figure a couple of years the money will start rolling in better," he says, his face dripping with sweat from the Kentucky humidity. "It has to be better on my health. I won't be breathing in the coal dust and the rock dust no more."

Kentucky Lieutenant Governor's Office

Kentucky’s Lieutenant Governor toured a coal mine and invited high school students to participate in her entrepreneurship competition Wednesday in western Kentucky.

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Madisonville Community College is among eight community and technical colleges in Kentucky receiving grants to help students attend school in coal-producing communities. 

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Refunds totaling nearly $180,000 are being delivered to fiscal courts in 33 counties from mining permit and acreage fees. 

J. Tyler Franklin/WFPL News

Lexington Mayor and U.S Senate candidate Jim Gray is joining fellow Kentucky Democratic leaders Thursday in Madisonville to discuss plans to revitalize coal communities. 

Erica Peterson | wfpl.org

A non-profit is recommending a Kentucky coal plant retire sooner than planned.

Official Photos, cropped

Both of Kentucky’s U.S. Senate candidates are campaigning in eastern Kentucky today as the race picks up steam heading into the annual Fancy Farm picnic on August 6. 

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One of the largest coal operators in the region is striking deals so that the terms of its bankruptcy can be finalized in court. One deal protects hundreds of workers while another sets aside millions for environmental cleanup.

Erica Peterson | wfpl.org

Even in what has historically been the country’s coal-fired stronghold, coal’s share of the electricity market is declining. The drop of coal-fired electricity generation in the Southeast — and a corresponding rise in natural gas and renewables — is reflecting what’s happening to the nation as a whole.

Rebecca Schimmel | Ohio Valley ReSource

Miners in Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia who helped keep the country’s lights on are worried that their retirement benefits could go dark as a result of a wave of bankruptcies in the coal industry. They hope Congress will approve a bill called the Miner’s Protection Act to shore up the pensions and health benefits promised to union miners. 

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