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What a Real Coal Ash Cleanup Looks Like

The toxic mess left behind from burning coal is a growing, nationwide problem. But we’re seeing that state governments can be convinced to do the right thing and clean it up. Recently, North Carolina joined its neighboring state to become a trendsetter in the proper disposal of coal ash waste. Following on the heels of similar news in Virginia, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) on April 1...

Revised Ohio nuclear ‘bailout’ bill raises more qu...

An updated version of the bill would still exclude most wind and solar from clean air credits, while allowing payments to unspecified “reduced emissions resources” that could include gas and coal. COLUMBUS — Republican lawmakers in the Ohio House introduced legislation Friday that would provide subsidies for two Ohio nuclear power plants owned by FirstEnergy Solutions, while at the same time defunding decade-old renewable...

Can 100 Percent Renewable Energy Cope With a Polar...

When a polar vortex hit parts of the Midwest and Northeast at the end of January, it brought temperatures cold enough to cause frostbite on exposed skin in just five minutes and closed down schools and businesses. Demand for power was intense, and the internet erupted in arguments about whether transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy would leave people in the lurch in periods of extreme weather. The conventional power...

Former Coal Lobbyist Andrew Wheeler Confirmed to H...

The Senate voted to confirm former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler as official head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Thursday. Wheeler has run the agency since July, when he replaced former administrator Scott Pruitt following a resignation prompted by numerous scandals. As acting administrator, Wheeler has confirmed the fears of environmentalists that he would be a “smarter” threat, pursuing...

Report finds widespread contamination at nation’s ...

The vast majority of ponds and landfills holding coal waste at 250 power plants across the country have leaked toxic chemicals into nearby groundwater, according to an analysis of public monitoring data released Monday by environmental groups. The report, published jointly by the Environmental Integrity Project and Earthjustice, found that 91 percent of the nation’s coal-fired power plants reported elevated levels of...

Coal’s other dark side: Toxic ash that can poison ...

Workers who cleaned up a huge spill from a coal ash pond in Tennessee in 2008 are still suffering—and dying. The U.S. has 1,400 ash dumps. 11 Minute Read On December 22, ten years to the day after a dike ruptured at a Tennessee Valley Authority power plant near Kingston, Tennessee, pouring more than a billion gallons of toxic coal ash into the Emory River, TVA took out a full-page ad in the local paper to congratulate itself...

Judge rules coal company can eliminate Kemmerer re...

Retired coal miners from Kemmerer likely lost their company health benefits Friday when a judge decided that Westmoreland Coal Co. could eliminate retirement health care and a union contract in order to sell the Kemmerer coal mine to a Virginia businessman. Judge David R. Jones of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Houston said he would not enter a final order on the matter until Tuesday, giving the United Mine Workers of America...

‘It’s About Economics’: Two Coal...

Trump is losing his rallying cry to save coal. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) voted on Thursday to retire two coal-fired power plants in the next few years despite a plea from the president to keep one of the plants open. Earlier this week, the president posted an oddly specific tweet that urged the government-owned utility to save the 49-year-old Paradise 3 plant in Kentucky. It so happens that the facility burns coal...

German coal phase-out plan will shutter first 12.7...

Germany should shut down all of its coal-fired power plants by 2038 at the latest, a government-appointed commission said on Saturday, proposing at least 40 billion euros ($45.7 billion) in aid to regions affected by the phase-out. The roadmap proposals, a hard-won compromise reached early on Saturday after more than 20 hours of talks, must now be implemented by the German government and 16 regional states. They embody...

EPA Bows to Coal Industry, Moves to Weaken Mercury...

In its latest attack on clean air protections, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its new proposal to weaken the Obama-era Mercury & Air Toxics Standards (MATS), putting public health at risk from more than 80 dangerous pollutants, some of which are known to cause brain damage in children. “This is an unconscionable rollback to serve the coal industry at the expense of all Americans, especially...

7 things to watch in 2019 as Trump goes to war wit...

Buckle up, folks, it’s going to be a long one. Next year will see a dramatic acceleration in environmental regulation rollbacks, as a number of Trump administration proposals gain traction and take effect, with fossil fuel restrictions, public health, and scientific studies all set to be impacted. There has already been an onslaught of environmental regulatory rollbacks so vast it can be hard to keep track of those...

E.P.A. Proposes Rule Change That Would Let Power P...

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration announced on Friday a plan designed to make it easier for coal-fired power plants, after nearly a decade of restrictions, to release into the atmosphere more mercury and other pollutants linked to developmental disorders and respiratory illnesses. The limits on mercury, set in 2011, were the first federal standards to restrict some of the most hazardous pollutants emitted by coal plants...

Some waters would lose protections from coal minin...

Ohio coal interests welcome the Trump administration proposal to narrow the definition of federal waters. Proposed changes to rules under the Clean Water Act would expose Ohio waters to greater risk from coal mining, according to environmental advocates. The Dec. 11 proposal would limit federal protection by changing the definition of “waters of the United States,” or WOTUS, to exclude many wetlands and streams whose flow...

Germany Closes Its Last Active Coal Mine, Ending 2...

Germany will witness the end of an era Friday. Around mid-afternoon, a team of dusty miners will bring up the last lumps of hard coal mined in the country from the Prosper-Haniel mine in Bottrop, in the heart of Germany’s industrial northwest. It’s a bittersweet farewell for an area already down on its luck. Prosper-Haniel was the last operating hard coal mine in a region defined by that industry for 200 years. The Ruhr...

An Epidemic Is Killing Thousands Of Coal Miners. R...

Greg Kelly at home in Delphia, Ky. A former coal miner, Kelly has an advanced stage of black lung disease known as complicated black lung or progressive massive fibrosis. Rich-Joseph Facun for NPR hide caption toggle caption Rich-Joseph Facun for NPR Greg Kelly at home in Delphia, Ky. A former coal miner, Kelly has an advanced stage of black lung disease known as complicated black lung or progressive massive fibrosis....