Coal

Joe Moore stood near a sign reading: "Authorized Personnel Only."

"I used to be authorized," he said.

Moore is a coal miner. The sign was at the entrance to the mine that had laid him off the previous day. The Alliance Coal facility had closed — a symptom of the coal industry's rapid decline.

Waterkeeper Alliance Inc. / Flickr (Creative Commons License)

The Tennessee Valley Authority is planning to close coal ash storage facilities at several of its coal-fired power plants. Coal ash is waste generated from burning coal and contains contaminants like mercury and arsenic.

Austin Ramsey, WKMS

Eleven coal miners died on the job in 2015, marking a new record low for coal mine deaths in the U.S. Two of the victims were in Kentucky.

NRDC

The massive omnibus spending bill passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama last week is more than 2,000 pages long and lays out the next year of government spending.

And it also contains some unexpected Christmas presents for the hard-hit coalfields of Appalachia.

Erica Peterson | wfpl.org

Across the Atlantic Ocean, governments and businesses are taking big steps toward renewable energy. Their transition could provide lessons for Kentucky.

This is the fourth in a five-part series. Read the others here.

In the middle of the industrial German city of Essen, there’s a wall surrounding a property bigger than 100 soccer fields. This is Zollverein: two former coal mines and a coking plant, which is used to turn coal to coke for steelmaking. I’m here to see how a former coal complex has been reinvented over the past two decades into something that’s a genuine tourist attraction.

Erica Peterson | wfpl.org

Across the Atlantic Ocean, governments and businesses are taking big steps toward renewable energy. Their transition could provide lessons for Kentucky.

This is the third in a five-part series. Read the others here.

For 900 years, ships and goods have been unloaded in Hamburg, Germany’s second-biggest city and an industrial center. On a fall day, tourists stroll along the Landungsbrücken, or floating dock, watching the boats come and go.

Like in Kentucky, manufacturers in Hamburg need to know that they’ll have a large and constant supply of affordable electricity. And two very different power plants in Hamburg show the tension in Germany’s energy market.

Erica Peterson | wfpl.org

Across the Atlantic Ocean, governments and businesses are taking big steps toward renewable energy. Their transition could provide lessons for Kentucky.

This is the second in a five-part series. Read the others here.

In Western Germany, only a 45-minute drive from the tourists milling around the iconic cathedral in Cologne, miners work in three immense lignite coal mines. Machines rumble, digging the soft, brown coal out of the ground and placing it on conveyor belts.

Wikimedia Commons/Author: PixOnTrax

There is still a lot of coal in the ground in Kentucky, though it’s looking increasingly unlikely that most of it will be mined and burned.

bae.uky.edu

The Sierra Club and MESS sponsored an event at Murray State on alternative energy with guest Dr. Don Colliver, a Professor and Director of Graduate Studies of the UK Biosystems and Ag Engineer Department. He's been involved in building design and energy-related teaching, research and outreach activities for over 35 years. On Sounds Good, Tracy sat down with Dr. Colliver to discuss ways to increase energy efficiency in homes, where Kentucky ranks in energy usage and how water conservation is connected to energy issues. 

courier-journal.com

  Residents offered their two-minute takes in Lexington Thursday on a thousand-page federal coal mining regulation that’s been years in the making.

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