Coal

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A bill that would eliminate state inspections of Kentucky coal mines is headed to the full senate. The measure was heard Wednesday in the Senate Natural Resources Committee.

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A bill under consideration in Kentucky’s General Assembly would eliminate state mine inspections, a move which a safety advocate says would have adverse effects on mine safety in Kentucky.

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Leaders from the state’s coal-producing regions want counties to receive a greater share of coal severance tax revenue. Revenue from the severance tax is split evenly between the state and counties and has declined as a result of Kentucky’s flagging coal industry.

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Kentucky's Energy and Environment Cabinet secretary is not expecting any short term rebound in the eastern Kentucky coalfields. Charles Snavely appeared before the senate’s natural resources committee this week. 

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Kentucky’s coal industry shed more jobs and production during the last quarter of 2015, according to new data released today.

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A Hopkins County coal miner has died after a continuous miner accident.  

Citing concerns over pricing and pollution, the Obama administration on Friday unveiled a moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands. The change won't affect existing leases, which generated nearly $1.3 billion for the government last year.

The Department of the Interior says it wants to make sure the money it's charging for coal leases takes into account both market prices and what's often called the "social costs" of coal — its impact on climate change and public health.

The agency says federal lands account for roughly 40 percent of all U.S. coal production.

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.

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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.

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