Coal

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After being name checked in two of President Donald Trump’s recent speeches, a new coal mine opened in Pennsylvania last week. But, while the new mine may be cause for local celebration and useful for political rhetoric, it isn’t a harbinger of what’s to come in Kentucky.

Colstrip, Mont., is about 750 miles away from Seattle, as the crow flies. Politically, the two places may be even further apart. And yet, they're connected.

If you're turning the lights on in the Pacific Northwest, some of that electricity may be coming from Colstrip. And if you're in Colstrip, wondering how long your own lights will stay on, you're likely looking west.

Hans, Pixabay

Many political leaders in the Ohio Valley approve of President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement. But surveys indicate that public opinion across the region varies, with a slight majority saying they’d like the country to stay the course on climate change.

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.

Becca Schimmel, WKU Public Radio

Kentucky is coal country, and is heavily reliant on the dirty fossil fuel for power. A study underway at Western Kentucky University is examining the effectiveness of a water-based clean coal solution. Becca Schimmel from member station WKYU takes a closer look at what a mushroom has to do with reducing emissions.

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.

As Coal Jobs Decline, Solar Sector Shines

May 6, 2017

Craig Williams is still mining coal despite tough times for the business. "We're one of the last industries around and hope to keep it that way," he says in a breakroom at Consol Energy's Harvey mine, south of Pittsburgh.

The father of two — speaking in his dusty work jacket and a hard hat with headlamp — says coal is the best way he's able to support his family. He declines to give his salary, but nationally, coal miners average about $80,000 a year.

Becca Schimmel | Ohio Valley ReSource

United Mine Workers retirees are celebrating a permanent fix for health benefits secured in the federal spending agreement Congress reached over the weekend. However, the deal left them with more work ahead to shore up faltering pension funds.

Coal has long had a grip on American politics. That's why politicians worry about its fate. They tout the fossil fuel's contribution to the U.S. economy, but lately they've also been trying to find a way to clean up coal's image.

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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