Coal and Water News

Kentucky just put doctor shopping into law to help coal companies avoid paying for black lung

July 22, 2018
Lexington Herald Leader

On July 14, the coal industry’s doctor-shopping was enshrined in Kentucky law as a spate of new laws took effect.

Coal miners’ lives still matter

July 11, 2018
Lexington Herald Leader

If you wonder why black lung disease is not just still killing coal miners but also making a roaring comeback, consider the criminal indictments announced in Owensboro on Wednesday.

A now bankrupt coal company and eight of its managers conspired to cheat on dust monitoring tests and lied about the results in violation of federal law, according to the charges.

Anti-rooftop solar bill defeated in final hour of 2018 Kentucky General Assembly

April 17, 2018 at 10:41am

In one of its final legislatives moves before adjourning on April 14, the Kentucky Senate tabled a vote on House Bill 227, the anti-rooftop solar bill pushed by utilities. At the last possible moment, Senate leaders recommitted the bill to a committee, rather than bringing it up for a vote, because the bill did not have enough support to pass.

Kentucky Lawmakers Limit Black Lung Claims Reviews Despite Epidemic

April 1, 2018
NPR | Ohio Valley ReSource

A measure signed into law in Kentucky this past week would prevent federally-certified radiologists from judging X-rays in state black lung compensation claims, leaving diagnoses of the disease mostly to physicians who typically work for coal companies.

Kentucky's retired coal miners also face a looming pension crisis

March 28, 2018 at 10:25pm

I am a retired UMWA coal miner from western Kentucky and a KFTC member.

I worked underground for many years and very proud of that work. When I put on my bank clothes to go underground I did so secure in the knowledge that the benefits I was earning would be there for my wife and myself to survive during our retirement years. But now, thousands of retirees like me all across the coalfields will lose their pensions due to the 2008 financial crisis and coal company bankruptcies.

Congress should make good on debts to coal country. Now.

March 21, 2018
Lexington Herald Leader

Congress should renew a tax on coal companies that supports medical treatment for miners disabled by black lung and expires at the end of this year. A vicious resurgence of the incurable disease gives lawmakers little choice.

Kentuckians tell McConnell time is up, pass RECLAIM now

March 14, 2018 at 05:32pm

Senator Mitch McConnell is in a position to direct more than $100 million to economic and community development projects in communities hardest hit by the decline in coal mining.

Kentuckians held an action outside his Lexington office today asking him to waste no more time in doing that.

“The time is now to pass the RECLAIM Act,” said Lyndsay Tarus, the Economic Transition Coordinator for the Alliance for Appalachia. “This is a jobs bill. The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement has estimated that 4,600 jobs could be generated through the RECLAIM Act across the country.

Climate change pushes LG&E's parent company to slash coal-burning in Kentucky

February 7, 2018
The Courier-Journal

The parent of Kentucky's two large utilities – LG&E and KU – has ordered a major reduction in emissions blamed for global warming by eliminating "the bulk" of its coal-burning in the coming years. 

Against energy subsidies? Lawmakers complaining about solar should dig into this.

February 9, 2018
Lexington Herald Leader

If legislators want to complain about solar subsidies, maybe they need to take a fresh look at coal subsidies. Commission an independent economist to add up all the costs and benefits to the state budget of coal, gas, oil, solar and other energy technologies and compare them. If we’re going to subsidize anything, maybe it should be the future and not the past.