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stopped coal

Kentucky cancels coal plant, new power movement electrifies grassroot alliance

The new agreement marks a significant turning point for Kentucky.Thanks to a powerful and growing New Power grassroots movement, a broad alliance of Kentucky activists sent an electrifying message across the nation today: A just transition to a clean energy future, even in the heartland of coal country Kentucky, is possible. Recognizing the spiraling costs of coal-fired plant construction and more practical energy efficiency and renewable energy options, the East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC) has agreed to halt its once fervent plans to construct two coal-burning power plants in Clark County. The announcement comes nearly one year after American Municipal …

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Love, in the Time of Blasting

This is the scene, when the coal-fired electricity that lights up New York City's neon theatre district lowers on stage: We are inside the home of Marie and Hovie, a young couple living in the mountain holler of Eagle Creek. With their family's 150-year-old homestead threatened by a planned mountaintop removal strip-mining operation, Hovie, a strip-miner himself, is determined to move his pregnant wife out of the country. As the last remaining member on her family's ancestral property, Marie is torn by their agonizing fate, and the dangerous health conditions in the mining area. When she speaks of her dream …

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Road Map, Not Regulations, Will Bring Coal Free Future

Note: This is a guest post by Stephanie Pistello, Ben Evans, and Jeff Biggers, co-founders of the Coal Free Future Project.  In the wake of the worst coal mining disaster in 40 years, compromise and political machinations this spring have resulted in a regulatory crisis of failure; workplace safety in the mines, including the black lung scandal, has emerged as a national tragedy; toxic coal ash remains uncategorized as hazardous waste; mountaintop removal operations and devastating strip mining in 24 states continue under regulatory plunder, not abolishment; billions of taxpayers' dollars pour down the black hole of carbon capture and storage …

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Reclaiming Earth Day

How do you celebrate Earth Day, when your homeland or homeplace has been stripmined into oblivion? For my family, standing in the ruins of our 150-year-old homestead in the devastated historic community of Eagle Creek, in the Shawnee Forest of southern Illinois, we turned to guerilla reclamation: My billie boys, the 9th generation of Eagle Creek ancestry, planted the first native plum trees on the unmanaged grassland reclamation site, in what was once one of the most diverse forests in the nation. We raised the dead on Eagle Creek for Earth Day this year. Ten years ago on Earth Day, …

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President Must End 200 Years of Regulated Manslaughter

At 3:30pm EST today, residents in West Virginia and across the nation will be observing a moment of silence for the fallen coal miners in last week's Upper Big Branch mine disaster, their families, and the rescue crews. Everyone in the nation--across the 48 states that burn coal for electricity--should take this moment to consider the sacrifice of coal mining communities and recognize the true cost of coal. As the first funerals for the worst mining disaster in 40 years took place last weekend in West Virginia, President Obama quoted a fallen coal miner's mother: "It is just West Virginia. …

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Another tragic iceberg awaiting Massey’s titanic violations: Brushy Fork Dam

Hope must die last in the coalfields, as our prayers go out to the families of the missing four coal miners and the 25 killed in the recent Montcoal mining disaster in West Virginia. But as heroic rescue teams attempt to reach the missing miners, another potential disaster instigated by reckless Massey Energy regulatory violations and oversight looms above the very heads of these affected coal mining communities -- and the pool of journalists and observers: Blasting within a football field of the nearby class "C" Brushy Fork impoundment, one of the largest and potentially weakest coal slurry impoundments in …

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Do coal companies put profit over human life?

All coal mining safety laws have been written in miners' blood. My grandfather, who barely survived an explosion in a coal mine in southern Illinois, taught me this phrase. He also taught me about the 150-year-old battle in the coalfields over reckless production at the cost of responsible safety measures. As our prayers and condolences go out to the many coal mining families in Raleigh County, W.Va., I think about the needless safety violations and subsequent disasters that have taken place over the past century. Over 104,000 Americans and immigrants have died in our coal mines. According to one inspector, …

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beginning of the end of mountaintop removal?

Appalachians hail EPA’s great victory for Clean Water Act and justice

Earlier this morning, I wrote a piece for April Fool's Day, Obama Ends 150-Year War of Strip-Mining in 24 States: Mountaintop Removal Loses Its Groove. Well, turns out the second part wasn't an April Fool's joke after all. EPA administrator Lisa Jackson invoked the rule of science and law today -- and for the first time raised the concern of the health care crisis in the coalfields from mountaintop removal. The EPA administrator announced a major decision today to clamp down on Clean Water Act violations from mountaintop removal mining -- yes, the EPA administrator actually used the words "mountaintop …

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Obama Ends 150-Year War of Strip-Mining in 24 States!

Obama Ends 150-Year War of Strip-Mining in 24 States: Mountaintop Removal Loses Its Groove. Yeah, I've been wanting to wake up to that headline for years, too. Instead, I read another Coal Tattoo headline about President Obama genuflecting in front of Big Coal. But don't be fooled on April 1st today: Mountaintop removal, the process of blowing up mountains in Appalachia to scoop out the last tiny seams of dirty coal, ain't new. Nor is the devastating strip-mining of coal limited to the Appalachian coalfields. Nor is it abating. The war goes on. To be sure: Strip-mining, which provides the lion's share …

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LA Turns Lights on Deadly Coal, Bright Clean Energy Future

  As I drive down the crowded LA freeway this evening, I will consider these facts: According to a fairly recent study, California's costly dependence on faraway coal-fired plants in Arizona and Utah results in an estimated 67 million tons of global-warming carbon--"the global warming pollution emanating from these smokestacks is equivalent to the emissions from more than 11 million cars and cancels out the reductions to be achieved by California's landmark global-warming standards for motor vehicles and its current renewable portfolio standard." Like 11 million cars on the LA freeway. Enter LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who has recently proposed …

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