Coal and Water News

Benham is first Kentucky city to pass a local resolution supporting miners, their families and communities

September 15, 2018 at 09:59am

The Benham City Council (Harlan County) is the first local government in Kentucky to pass a local resolution calling on members of Congress to pass three bills needed to help sick, disabled, retired and unemployed coal workers and their families and communities. Benham’s city government took the unanimous action at its monthly meeting on September 13.

Advocates hope other local governments may soon follow Benham’s example. A similar resolution was adopted several weeks ago in Virginia by the City of Big Stone Gap.

Madison County members take action at Andy Barr event

September 14, 2018 at 01:29pm
Madison County

On August 27, the Berea Chamber of Commerce invited U.S. Rep. Andy Barr to an annual luncheon and legislative discussion. However, this year, local constituents responded to Barr’s presence with questions and concerns. Joining others from the community, KFTC members took the opportunity to demonstrate publicly.

Those present advocated for various issues, causes and pursuits. Some present, such as KFTC member Maggie Park, lifted up health care as a major concern. According to Park, “he doesn’t fight for what Kentucky needs, like health care.”

KFTC members are taking part in a week of climate action in California

September 9, 2018 at 05:18pm

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Seven members and two staff of KFTC are in San Francisco right now, participating in a week of climate actions called Solidarity to Solutions (Sol2Sol for short), aimed at bringing grassroots voices and solutions to the forefront during a major global climate summit that is being hosted by California Governor Jerry Brown and attended by many corporate and state leaders. The Kentuckians are among 500 grassroots delegates organized by It Takes Roots, a collection of four important networks, including the Climate Justice Alliance, Right To The City, Grassroots Global Justice, and the Indigenous Environmental Network.

The Sol2Sol week has been planned with the following goals: "To serve and be in solidarity with the leadership of communities in the Bay Area, across the state, and around the world; to challenge, expose and stop the massive subsidies being handed to multi-national corporations that are violating and destroying our families, ecosystems, and climate; to move public funds to repair, restore and protect Mother Earth and all her peoples; to end the epidemic of disaster capitalism, and redirect stolen wealth to the service, solidarity, and support of communities who are developing place-based solutions to address the root causes of climate change, poverty, and the crisis of democracy."

On Saturday, the nine KFTC members joined with more than 30,000 others in a large and boisterous march in downtown San Francisco, organized by the People's Climate Movement. 

"I'm honored to be here," said Alexa Hatcher from Bowling Green. "Yesterday was about connecting to one another. Everyone was taking care of each other. We were marching with a single purpose and that's to build solidarity where corporations and government powers have historically worked to keep us apart. We are not fighting against each other for scarce resources anymore. We're coming together against a common enemy that has worked to keep us silent and dependent to build a better future for us all."

Trump coal plan kills more than it helps

August 23, 2018
Lexington Herald Leader

Even Donald Trump's own Environmental Protection Agency says his proposal to replace the Clean power Plan would kill and sicken thousands of people.

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.