Coal

TVA Becoming Less Coal Dependent

Oct 8, 2012

The Tennessee Valley Authority's reliance on coal has dropped and the use of natural gas as fuel to generate electricity has increased. The Commercial Appeal reports TVA's use of gas climbed 70 percent in the fiscal year ended September 30. At the same time, coal-fired generation declined 30 percent from fiscal year 2011.

Afternoon Round-Up 8/16/12

Aug 16, 2012

Today on NPR: The government began accepting applications Wednesday for "deferred action for childhood arrivals." The program allows qualified undocumented young people brought to the U.S. as children to study and work legally in the U.S. Many are applying, but the process is not without risk for some.

The involvement of a state representative in a major coal deal in Kentucky is raising some eyebrows.  The $7 billion contract signed yesterday creates a 25-year standing order to ship 9 million tons of Kentucky coal annually to India. Pike County Representative Keith Hall was instrumental in brokering the deal—but he also has several coal-related businesses. He also sits on the board of FJS Energy—the New Jersey-based company that signed the contract. Hall says his involvement in the deal was both as a state lawmaker and a businessman.

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Coal mines in Kentucky and West Virginia will send millions of tons of coal to India, under the terms of a 25-year contract that was signed Wednesday. As Kentucky Public Radio’s Erica Peterson reports, the deal is being hailed as a sign of hope in the coal export market.

Kentucky is number one on a list of the states with the most toxic air pollution from power plants.

The Natural Resources Defense Council analyzed the data self-reported by industries in the Toxic Release Inventory, which is managed by the federal government. The most recent data is from 2010, and that year, Kentucky’s power plants emitted more than 40 million pounds of toxic air pollution. This gives the state the dubious honor of being ranked number one in the nation.

Afternoon Round-Up 8/7/12

Aug 7, 2012

Today on NPR: In France, some say a gastronomic icon is under threat. For the last decade, the number of pre-prepared, frozen croissants sold in bakeries has been increasing. These knock-offs are cheaper, but they're also less delicious.

A rally in support of coal is scheduled for this weekend in southeast Kentucky. It stemmed from a Facebook post, but now Bell County resident and business owner Joe Harris says he expects more than 20,000 people to line a county road Saturday in support of coal. Harris says the event—dubbed “Hands of Coal Across Bell County” isn’t a protest, but just a show of support for the coal industry. Coal is still a major employer in Bell County, but as reduced demand leads to layoffs, Harris says other residents and businesses are suffering.

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Kentucky politicians have been lining up to praise a judge’s decision earlier this week to overturn the new way the Environmental Protection Agency has been evaluating coal mining permits. The EPA was sued by the National Mining Association and several individual states, including Kentucky. But the ruling could have few practical implications for the coal industry.

Afternoon Round-Up 8/1/12

Aug 1, 2012

Today on NPR: A mile-deep mine in South Dakota was closed a decade ago. Now, it's been cleaned up and revamped as an underground science laboratory.

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The Kentucky Public Service Commission will hold public hearings next month in Paducah and Henderson to get input on a proposal raising rates for Big Rivers Electric Corporation customers. Big Rivers wants to spend about $284 million to comply with new federal environmental requirements affecting utilities that burn coal to generate electricity.

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