Coal

Office of Mine Safety and Licensing Deals with Budget Cuts

May 15, 2014
alrp.com

As concerns about mine safety are raised after an explosion in a Turkish coal mine killed more than 200 miners, Kentucky mine safety officials are doing their best to keep Kentucky miners safe as they cope with a 38 percent cut in state funding.

Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

By law, the only piece of legislation that the 2014  Kentucky General Assembly had to pass was a two-year state budget. All else, as Will Rogers put it, is applesauce.

Ignoring words of caution from his own administration, Governor Steve Beshear signed a bill directing the state’s Energy and Environment Cabinet to create a Kentucky-specific plan for regulating carbon dioxide emissions into law earlier this month.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments Monday about the Environmental Protection Agency's first-ever greenhouse gas regulations for the biggest polluting facilities.

The case focuses on a 3-year-old requirement that companies get permits anytime they construct new plants or modify existing ones that will emit a lot of greenhouse gases.

EPA's supporters and most of its challengers agree this case is narrow in scope; the court's ruling is not expected to threaten EPA's broader strategy to fight global warming.

www.dailyyonder.com

Kentucky’s coal industry shed more than 2,300 jobs in 2013, according to the latest numbers from the state Energy and Environment Cabinet. And most of those losses were in the Eastern Kentucky coalfields.

Arnold Paul, via Wikimedia Commons

Legislation seeking to end what some call strict Environmental Protection Agency regulations on coal-fired power plant emissions has passed the house Energy and Commerce subcommittee.

Kentucky's first district Republican Congressman Ed Whitfield chairs the subcommittee and co-sponsored the bill with Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

Kentucky’s coal production and employment both dropped during the third quarter of this year, and once again the state’s eastern coalfields recorded the biggest loss, according to the latest quarterly coal report.

Agriculture Commissioner James Comer is challenging leaders in eastern Kentucky to accept the decline of coal production and invest in a new economy to help pull the region out of poverty.

"A lot of leaders in Eastern Kentucky keep talking about ‘coal is the answer and there is a war on coal.’ I’m a friend of coal. I support the coal industry. But the coal industry’s future doesn't look bright and we have to look beyond that and learn to develop a new economy in Eastern Kentucky," he says.

Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet

The Secretary of the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet said he’s a strong supporter of natural gas development as a source of energy in Kentucky and elsewhere. However, Len Peters said the country will be a lot better off with a blend of options.

“If all we do is move coal-dominated electricity generation to a natural gas electricity generation is not a good way to go," said Peters. "There’s no diversification in that. We have to be able to build coal. We have to be able to build natural gas. Nobody wants to build nuclear these days so we’re moving away from a more balanced set of opportunities.”

alrp.com

A western Kentucky coal company has agreed to pay $245,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging that the company turned away African-American job applicants.

A statement from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said River View Coal will pay the settlement to a group of black applicants who looked for work at a Union County underground mine.

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