coal mining

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Obama Puts New Obstacle in Coal Industry's Way

President to announce stop to new coal-mining leases on federal land

(Newser) - During his SOTU address Tuesday, President Obama forewarned he'd "push to change the way we manage our oil and coal resources." Today, part of that blueprint is set to become more clear, with an expected announcement by the president to stop all new coal-mining leases on public... More »

Black Lung Rates Rise 900%: Report

Appalachian coal miners contracting disease with prevalence not seen since '70s

(Newser) - Just 15 years ago, scientists were confident that the advanced, incurable version of black lung disease had been all but wiped out. Now, coal miners in Appalachia are contracting the illness—also known as progressive massive fibrosis—at rates not seen since the 1970s, the Courier-Journal reports. A National Institute... More »

Tennessee Declares End to 1892 Coal Creek War

State no longer at war with miners

(Newser) - Some 121 years after the Coal Creek War broke out, Tennessee has officially declared an end to hostilities. A "peace treaty" to end the labor uprising was signed earlier this month at Fort Anderson, where Tennessee National Guardsmen once battled striking coal miners enraged by the use of convict... More »

Bad News for Miners: Black Lung Is Back

Cases have doubled in a decade despite regulations

(Newser) - Black lung was thought to be on its way out following new mining regulations in 1969—but the disease is resurging and has some health experts using the word "epidemic," according to an NPR /Center for Public Integrity investigation. Its occurrence has doubled over the past 10 years,... More »

Mining Company: Those 2-Headed Fish No Big Deal

Images of two-headed trout tucked into appendix of safety study

(Newser) - If you reel in your fishing line in southern Idaho to find a two-headed trout staring back, it's ... no big deal? The New York Times explains: The JR Simplot Company wants the federal government to allow higher levels of the mining byproduct selenium to appear in local waterways. The... More »

Massey Hid Factors Behind W.Va. Mine Blast

Federal report concludes that Upper Big Branch disaster was preventable

(Newser) - The explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine that killed 29 people was caused by safety concerns that owner Massey Energy was well aware of, but hid from federal regulators, according to a new report from the Mine Safety and Health Administration. “This much we already know. The tragedy... More »

Epic Floods Close Australia's Coal Mines

Waters causing 'catastrophic damage' to transportation system

(Newser) - The nearly biblical flood that’s washed over Queensland, Australia, is causing massive damage—including the closure of 75% of its coal mines, which supply most of Asia’s steel mills. “That’s a massive impact on the international markets,” observed Premier Anna Bligh in a TV interview.... More »

Coal Industry's 'Dark Lord' Will Retire in Style

Opinion: Notorious CEO profits from suffering of workers

(Newser) - Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship resigned last week without much explanation, soon after a damning profile by Rolling Stone headlined "The Dark Lord of Coal Country," notes Andrew Leonard in Salon . Who knows, maybe that article, looming lawsuits, investigations over tragedies like this fatal mine explosion , and pressure... More »

Here Comes Reality Show on—Yes—Coal Mining

Spike TV program will focus on mine in West Virginia

(Newser) - Got your fill of mining coverage? If not, then Spike TV has some extremely good news: It will launch a reality show on coal miners in April, says the Hollywood Reporter . Coal is from the makers of the Deadliest Catch and will focus on a mine in West Virginia. “... More »

Coal Miners Mock Topless Ashley Judd

Self-described 'hillbilly' actress angers her home state

(Newser) - Kentucky native Ashley Judd irked miners when she spoke out against mountaintop coal mining last month, and now they’re using a topless photo taken for a magazine against her. “Ashley Judd makes a living removing her top, why can’t coal miners?” says the poster, displayed at a... More »

Mine Regulators Under FBI Investigation

Mine Safety and Health officials may have been bribed

(Newser) - The FBI has launched a criminal investigation of the Mine Safety and Health Administration in connection with the Upper Big Branch mine disaster, and the agency is looking into allegations regulators took bribes from Massey Energy, sources tell NPR . Massey, which owned the mine, is also under investigation for criminal... More »

20 Jobs That Could Kill You

Fishing, mining not for the faint of heart

(Newser) - Tunneling deep into the earth is dangerous business, as West Virginian miners were reminded this week. With that in mind, the Daily Beast takes a look at the most dangerous professions, broken down by deaths per 100,000, injuries per 100,000, and average annual salary:
  1. Fisherman: 129 deaths, 61
... More »

Last 4 Miners Found Dead

Death toll makes explosion worst coal-mining disaster in 40 years

(Newser) - Dashing hopes that they had survived the massive explosion that killed 25 of their colleagues, four coal miners were found dead early this morning in a mine in Montcoal, W. Va., making Monday's incident the worst coal-mining disaster in over a generation. The head of the Mine Safety and Health... More »

Coal Mines Blow Off Safety Fines

US operations have almost $90m in unpaid

(Newser) - US coal mining operations have racked up plenty of safety regulations in recent years, but they simply haven’t bothered to pay thee resulting fines. Of the $113 million in major penalties the federal government has dished out over the past 3 years, coal companies have paid just $8 million,... More »

EPA Rules May End Mountaintop Mining

New pollution standard aims at destructive coal practice

(Newser) - New pollution restrictions put in place today by the EPA could all but end the controversial practice of mountaintop mining in Appalachia. Environmentalists hate the method, in which miners blow off the top of a mountain, extract the coal, and dump the extra rock and soil into the valley below.... More »

GOP Challengers Target Democrats' 'War on Coal'

In coal-country, Republicans turn election into vote on Obama policies

(Newser) - Republicans are latching on to the idea of a Democrat-led “war on coal,” hoping to woo anxious residents of coal-country states like West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio by presenting their rivals as hostile to the industry—and it's working, and could lead to the Election Day demise of... More »

Coal Harms the Planet —and Owns the Senate

Blame industry as well as ideology if US shirks Copenhagen

(Newser) - As the world turns to Copenhagen this December, the US, which never ratified the Kyoto Protocol, may once again fail to sign up to save the world from serious climate change. Ideology plays a part, Jeffrey Sachs notes, as many Republican senators are "intent on derailing any Obama initiative.... More »

Usable US Coal Reserves a Fraction of Earlier Estimates

(Newser) - For years the government has estimated that the US has 240 years' worth of coal in the ground, causing officials to dub the US the “Saudi Arabia of Coal.” But that estimate may be grossly exaggerated, the Wall Street Journal reports. While there probably is 240 years' worth... More »

Supreme Court Hears Case on Role of Money in Justice

Dispute inspired a John Grisham novel

(Newser) - This week, the Supreme Court will hear a case so twisty it inspired a John Grisham novel, the Washington Post reports. At stake: the standards for judicial impartiality. The owner of a small coal company sued a huge one, alleging it illegally drove him out of business. He won, but... More »

W. Virginia Torn Over Coal Mining

Small town split on pros and cons of clearing mountains

(Newser) - As the mining industry clears mountains in Appalachia, a nearby town finds itself in a conundrum over the future of coal, writes John McQuaid in Smithsonian magazine. With prices and energy demands soaring, mining sites are multiplying—and while some  residents see the state’s oldest and most profitable industry... More »

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