Coal

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.

The U.S. power grid could become less reliable if too much electricity comes from renewable energy and natural gas, according to a study from the Department of Energy.

But not everyone is buying it. Environmentalists suspect the Trump administration is just trying to prop up an ailing coal industry.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry called for the study in the spring. The report doesn't say there is a grid reliability problem now — only that one could develop if more coal and nuclear power plants shut down.

iStockPhoto

The U.S. Department of Energy has decided to continue to fund research that investigates recovery of rare earth elements from coal and coal byproducts.

Vivian Stockman and Southwings

The Trump administration’s Department of the Interior has asked the National Academy of Sciences to suspend research into the health effects of mountaintop removal coal mining.

Anna Boiko-Weyrauch, via Ohio Valley ReSource

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice, who recently switched to the Republican party, is asking President Trump for more help for the coal industry. Glynis Board of the Ohio Valley ReSource reports that Justice wants payments from the federal government to offset the costs of Appalachian coal.

Erica Peterson, WFPL

  New numbers from the first two quarters of this year show both coal production and employment are continuing to decline in Kentucky, despite President Donald Trump’s promises that miners would be going back to work.

What opportunities are there for a coal-mining community after its main industry has waned?

In Somerset County in southwestern Pennsylvania, that's not an easy question to answer. For this county of roughly 76,000 residents, renewable energy and health care offer hopes for its future. But first it has to attract qualified workers.

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