Alpha Natural Resources has received approval from federal regulators to expand the Brushy Fork coal slurry impound, one of the biggest coal slurry impoundments in the nation, to a height taller than the Hoover Dam. The impoundment is located near Whitesville, West Virginia, and will increase its holdings of coal waste from 6.5 billion gallons
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, in a passionate appeal for American energy independence, proudly proclaimed “I like coal” during the October 4 Presidential debate, advancing his unique and much touted job-creation plan — linking employment opportunity in Appalachia to leukemia, heart disease, cancer clusters, and low birth rate. “I like coal,” said the former Massachusetts
Over the past few days, a strange and unexpected role reversal has come into focus in the realm of international energy policies. On September 21, the US House of Representatives voted in favor of the “Coal Miner Employment and Domestic Energy Infrastructure Protection Act,” an aggressively anti-environment call which, despite the lofty title, represents a shrill
A number of NGOs have ranked the world’s ‘top’ banks on how dirty they are, based on how much money they give to coal projects. The report released by the NGOs is titled, “Bankrolling Climate Change.” Can you guess the top contributors to climate change?
iLoveMountains.org and many Virginians are now fighting to save a Ison Rock Ridge Standing. Why would it come down? Well, have you heard of mountaintop removal coal mining? This week, “Virginians who live at the base of Ison Rock Ridge, a mountain threatened by a pending mountaintop removal permit, have been joined by hundreds from
There’s no denying it — reports of massive earthquakes have been rocking the news lately. All this recent seismic activity has caused many to wonder: has the earth always been this shaky? Or is human activity causing some of these earthquakes? While some earthquakes are due to the shifting of tectonic plates above the earth’s
Here are some of the top climate and environmental science stories of the week (other than what we’ve covered), starting with a funny video from The Onion on twitchy climate scientists.
Two young people took to the trees this morning in an effort to halt the destructive practice of strip-mining on Coal River Mountain. Becks Kolins 21, and Catherine-Ann MacDougal 24, have perched themselves roughly 80 feet in the air on wooden platforms on trees on the outskirts of the actively mined areas of the Bee Tree surface mine.
I briefly wrote about a new documentary, The Last Mountain, which covers the insane mountaintop removal coal mining industry in January, and included a trailer of the film. Well the film just premiered in New York City and the Natural Resource Defense Council’s Eric Goldstein made it to the premiere and has shared his experience of it. I thought it was worth a share.
A recent Harvard Medical School study took a long look at the entire industrial coal process – extraction, transport, processing and combustion — crunched the numbers, and came up with a rather shocking tally:
“We estimate that the life cycle effects of coal and the waste stream generated are costing the U.S. public a third to over one-half of a trillion dollars annually.”
West Virginia’s new job growth brings landfills, drug rehab centers, 4-wheeler trails, and prisons. Now, that’s what I call progress. If coal is such a good thing for West Virginia, then why do they need more prisons and drug rehab centers in mining communities? West Virginia also became the first U.S. state to have “natural decrease” where deaths
West Virginia coal miners have always taken pride in supplying energy to the world. Although their work hours are long and the hazards of the job are many. They reluctantly dig coal to support their families, because there are no other opportunities for these hard working individuals. In a state that is politically controlled by
One of our faithful readers and supporters, WV Outpost, recently wrote an interesting, powerful, and moving article on some of her and her family’s experiences living in the heart of coal country. She is living in West Virginia and her and her husband have to write under false names for their own safety there. At
Here’s our roundup of interesting (good & bad) environmental and wildlife news of the week, other than what we’ve covered already. White House: Polar Bears Not ‘Endangered’ The Obama administration is sticking with a George W. Bush-era decision to deny polar bears endangered species status. In a court filing Wednesday, the Fish and Wildlife Service
Mountaintop removal coal mining (MTR) is very harmful to ecosystems, including to the humans living in or off of those ecosystems. In an effort to extend opposition to MTR beyond traditional circles, Earthjustice is putting a face on this topic, or many faces actually, through its new Mountain Heroes: Our Stories program. Earthjustice writes: People from
After receiving a lot of pressure from activist groups for months, PNC Bank finally gave in and joined the growing number of major banks to issue a strong position on mountaintop removal (MTR) coal mining, saying that will no longer lend money to the destructive practice. “Removing sources of funding for MTR is crucial, of
Mountaintop removal is something we cover on here pretty frequently. It is the horrible process of blowing the tops off mountains to get out dirty coal to burn for electricity, which then contributes greatly to global warming, water pollution, air pollution, and other problems. Luckily, we are not the only ones concerned about this issue
When a leading NASA scientist is willing to go to a protest in D.C. and get arrested along with hundreds of other, normal folks, you know he is concerned about something. As I wrote on the weekend, Monday was the Appalachia Rising! Day of Action. The non-violent action must have gone well, as top climate
Mountaintop removal coal mining is bad stuff. It is destroying habitats and communities, poisoning people, and annihilating ancient mountains and national treasures. Appalachia Rising!, a national response to the unmitigated destruction of Appalachia’s mountains, air and water through mountaintop removal coal mining started today in Washington, D.C. Individuals from around the country, grassroots groups and organizations,
The Rainforest Action Network (RAN) was founded in 1985. Its activists have been referred to as “some of the most savvy environmental agitators in the business” by the Wall Street Journal. Due to its environmentally educated and focused approach, it has achieved some great successes. The organization has even had great success with banking giants
Continuing on with our Going Green Tips series, Going Green Tip #6 should be no surprise (we’re starting with the big boys). The general tip is to stop using coal power. Easier said than done, right? Maybe, but it is VERY important, and there are a lot of reasons why it’s easier now than ever.
Here’s our latest roundup of green living, green activism, and clean energy news. Enjoy these great stories from around the internet.
With the recent successes in stopping the further expansion of coal-based energy, activists direly need a complete list of proposed mining projects. While SourceWatch.org already hosts the CoalSwarm database with all sorts of information about coal plants across different states, it’s lacking information on proposed coal mines. Legal opposition and community protests have been shown
When a new coal preparation plant decided to begin construction without first securing a permit, Plains Justice with the Dakota Resource Council and local residents jumped at the opportunity to file a complaint against the company. With the complaint challenging the plant’s construction, Great Northern Power Development withdrew its application for a new coal mine
With the help of conservation groups, the U.S. Office of Surface Mining launched the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative to attempt to rescue the thousands forest acres left barren by mountaintop coal mining. [social_buttons] The volunteer-based initiative, which hopes to eventually plant 38 million trees in Appalachia, received the endorsement of the United Nations Environment Program
A coalition of environmental groups emerged victorious today when Patriot Coal agreed to test a new way to remove selenium from coal mine run-off. [social_buttons] The West Virginia-based coal company agreed to the deal to settle a lawsuit filed by the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition and West Virginia Highlands Conservancy which made allegations that the
Despite activists’ efforts earlier in the month to stop the Bush administration’s 11th hour changes to environmental regulations, the EPA has gone ahead with undoing some rules. Specifically, they have signed off on loosening 1983’s coal dumping regulation, which prevent dumping within 100 feet of a river. Fortunately, environmental groups are taking the ruling to
Bank of America received praise from the Rainforest Action Network for its decision to phase out financing for companies that practice mountaintop removal coal mining, a controversial method of coal extraction.
A Canadian company has used the current presidential race to plug it’s coal-to-liquid process. Citing positive statements by presidential hopefuls, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Mike Huckabee, Silverado Green Fuel has posted a video on it’s front page, explaining the process of turning low-grade coal into a clean-burning, non-polluting product. The Vancouver, BC firm claims