Mountaintop Removal

Photo by Vivan Stockman, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, flyover courtesy of Southwings.
Coal / Mountaintop Removal

Obama visits West Virginia on coal disaster anniversary: Will he finally recognize Appalachian health emergency?

RALEIGH COUNTY, WV — “Ever since Obama took office, the long-time tragedy of Oxycontin and prescription painkillers, along with heroin, has ravaged coal mining communities in central Appalachia–despite years of national news investigations on failed regulatory enforcement. In that same light, after years of ignoring pleas from besieged residents on […]

Father John Rausch has spent 40 years defending the poor in Appalachian Kentucky.
Coal / Energy / Mountaintop Removal

Meet the Catholic priest fighting for environmental issues in Kentucky

Joie Chen meets Father John Rausch, who has spent 40 years defending the poor in Appalachia GLENMARY, KY — “For more than 40 years, Rausch, a transplant from North Philadelphia, has lived here, firmly rooted in Appalachia. He first came to work with the poor in these mountains, a priest of […]

A coal tipple lies abandoned near an closed mine site outside of Whitesburg, Ky., in June. (Joby Warrick/The Washington Post)
Clean Power Plan / Coal / Energy / Mountaintop Removal

Outrage over EPA emissions regulations fades as states find fixes

HAZARD, KY — “The story is the same across much of the country as the EPA prepares to roll out what is arguably the biggest and most controversial environmental regulation of the Obama presidency. Under the Clean Power Plan, states will have to find ways to achieve dramatic cuts in […]

Coal production using mountaintop removal mining decreases by 62% since 2008
Coal / Mountaintop Removal

Coal production using mountaintop removal mining decreases by 62% since 2008

WASHINGTON, DC — “Coal production from mines with mountaintop removal (MTR) permits has declined since 2008, more than the downward trend in total U.S. coal production. Total U.S. coal production decreased about 15% from 2008 to 2014. Surface production decreased about 21%, and mountaintop removal, one type of surface production, […]

Coal / Mountaintop Removal

New York Times: ‘The People v. the Coal Baron’

CHARLESTON, WV — “Over the weekend, The New York Times published an interesting West Virginia Day offering:  A lengthy story about former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship. The story dug deep into the archives of various Blankenship controversies, and understandably made much about the big trial that’s coming up in […]

The announcement was praised by Rainforest Action Network, or RAN, as strongest policy of its kind to date and upgraded the bank's grade in its 2015 Coal Finance Report Card, which is critical of banks that finance coal companies.
Coal / Energy / Mountaintop Removal

Bank of America pledges to continue to reduce exposure to mountaintop removal

  CHARLOTTE, NC — “Bank of America Corp. said in a coal policy document that it will ‘continue to reduce our exposure to coal mining companies that utilize [mountaintop removal coal mining] practices in Appalachia.’ The bank said mining companies engaging in the practice have been subject to enhanced regulatory […]

Mountaintop removal coal mining ends on March 16
Coal / Mountaintop Removal

Mountaintop removal coal mining ends on March 16

CHARLESTON, WV — “Fourteen months after the world watched in astonishment as poorly regulated coal-washing chemicals contaminated the Elk River in West Virginia, coal country residents and supporters are gearing up for an epic showdown on March 16 with the state’s Department of Environmental Protection—and the U.S. Congress—over the mounting […]

Rainforest Action Network, Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir, and EQAT performed a “bring the mountain back to PNC Bank” action on September 27, 2010. (Flickr/ Brennan Cavanaugh)
Coal / Mountaintop Removal

How a small Quaker group forced PNC Bank to stop financing mountaintop removal

BROOKLYN, NY — “After five years of action by Earth Quaker Action Team, PNC Bank announced a shift in its policy on March 2 that will effectively cease its financing of mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia. This marks a major turnaround for the nation’s seventh largest bank, which for […]

Lenny Kohm worked at Appalachian Voices for nearly 13 years, during which time his wisdom and deep understanding of what moves people to take action became woven into the fabric of the organization.
Coal / Mountaintop Removal

The Book of Lenny

BOONE, NC — “Lenny had little patience for tactics that were not part of a plausible path to victory. “Never let your tactic become your goal,” he often warned. And while he had nothing against conferences or demonstrations, anyone who suggested holding one with Lenny present had to be prepared […]

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 […]