Massey Energy Co. chief executive Don Blankenship testifies in May 2010 at the U.S. Senate’s Health and Human Services subcommittee hearing on mine safety, just a few weeks after 29 miners died at the Massey-operated Upper Big Branch Mine, in Raleigh County.
Coal / Mountaintop Removal

Longtime Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship indicted

CHARLESTON, WV — “Don Blankenship, the longtime chief executive officer of Massey Energy, was indicted Thursday on charges that he orchestrated the routine violation of key federal mine safety rules at the company’s Upper Big Branch Mine prior to an April 2010 explosion that killed 29 miners. A federal grand […]

Dear PUCO: My family cares about saving money on our electric bill

Dear PUCO: My family cares about saving money on our electric bill

LJ Turner on his cattle ranch near North Antelope Rochelle mine in Wyoming. Photograph: Mae Ryan/Guardian

The real story of US coal: inside the world’s biggest coalmine

NORTH ANTELOPE ROCHELLE MINE, WY — “In the fossil fuel jackpot that is Wyoming, it can be hard to see a future beyond coal. One of the few who can is LJ Turner, whose grandfather and father homesteaded on the high treeless plains nearly a century ago. Turner, who raises […]

AEP says its coal-fired power plants are at risk for closure unless they can guarantee some income.
AEP / Coal / Energy

Businesses call AEP’s price-guarantee request ‘unfair’ and ‘harmful to competitive markets’

COLUMBUS — “A group of 12 big Ohio electricity users says American Electric Power Company Inc.’s proposed coal-plant price guarantee is “unfair to shopping customers and harmful to competitive markets.” Lowe’s Home Improvement (NYSE: LOW), Staples Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS) and Macy’s Inc. (NYSE:M) are among the companies who signed the […]

The Gen. James M. Gavin Power Plant in Cheshire, Ohio (Richard Martin)
AEP / Coal / Energy

For $20 million, a coal utility bought an Ohio town and a clear conscience

CHESHIRE — “The plants, though, are still there, consuming about 35,000 tons of coal every day. A gray mountain of coal ash looms above what’s left of the town. AEP, though, may not have entirely escaped liability for the environmental effects of the plants: In early September a new lawsuit […]

The Gavin Power Plant near Cheshire, Ohio. (Photo by Jeff Lovett via Creative Commons)
AEP / Coal / Energy

Ohio pollution complaint unrelated to coal ‘bailout’ plan

CHESHIRE — “American Electric Power (AEP) is on notice that it may be sued for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act by its Gavin Power Plant in Cheshire, Ohio. Last week, the Sierra Club sent a 60-day notice of intent to sue, which claims that excess emissions of sulfur dioxide created a ‘public nuisance‘ in […]

AEP and the Sierra Club are battling over the company's coal plants.
AEP / Coal / Energy

No quiet period for AEP Ohio in PR game

COLUMBUS — “The latest proposal from AEP Ohio is perhaps its most complicated: It wants Ohio customers to shoulder the risk for four of its coal-fired power plants to ensure their long-term viability. It’s a complicated proposal, spurred by the impact of federal environmental regulations, the rising prominence of U.S. shale gas and […]

FirstEnergy’s stock prices have slipped, compared to other energy and industrial companies. Courtesy IEEFA.
Coal / Energy / FirstEnergy

Report: FirstEnergy’s coal focus ‘not a winning strategy’

CLEVELAND — “FirstEnergy’s effort to get Ohio consumers to subsidize noncompetitive power plants is short-sighted and won’t guarantee long-term financial health, according to a new report. That’s because FirstEnergy continues to center its business around coal, instead of adapting to competition, changing markets and newer technologies, says the report, released last week […]

Dan Sawmiller, Sierra Club
AEP / Coal / Duke Energy / Energy / FirstEnergy

Sierra Club: Ohio utilities’ plan to have customers subsidize coal plants ‘doesn’t hold up

COLUMBUS — “I think what we’ve got here, throughout the state, is utility companies throwing spaghetti against the wall and trying to see what will stick. None have benefits for customers. Utilities have a public campaign saying this is all about customers, volatility, economic development. It just doesn’t hold up. They’re […]

Last year Honda installed these two wind turbines at its transmission plant in Russells Point, Pion. they provide 10% of the facility's power. Photo: Bill Bowen
Coal / Energy

The battle of Ohio: clean energy vs. coal

MARYSVILLE — “Environmentalists and renewable-power providers fear that Ohio could be the spearhead for pushing back other states’ mandates for renewables. Despite five years of relatively robust investment in renewables here, the presence in Ohio of two of the nation’s largest utilities (AEP and FirstEnergy), along with the legacy coal […]