"Bristol-based Alpha Natural Resources plans to make more job cuts. They released disappointing third quarter earnings on Thursday. The company told us they plan to let go of 130 salaried employees and eliminate 100 vacant positions. They are cutting 230 total jobs and these cuts will be company-wide."
"Sen. Rand Paul sees a 'depression' in Appalachia's coal country, and he says there's one man to blame for it: President Obama.The Kentucky Republican isn't alone in his fury over Obama's treatment of the coal industry. A bipartisan bloc of elected officials from across the region shares his views, including two influential West Virginia Democrats, Sen. Joe Manchin and Rep. Nick Rahall. The critics argue that by tightening rules on mountaintop-removal coal mining and imposing greenhouse-gas emission limits on coal-fired power plants, Obama and his allies are regulating the industry out of business—and putting legions of coal miners out of work."
"Using the arts to further local economies in eastern Kentucky is the focus of a Somerset conference this week. The Citizens’ Institute on rural Design meeting brings together local leaders, non-profits, community organizations, and citizens. Jack Herlihy studies economic development in Appalachia. He says many eastern Kentuckians take their talents to other communities, such as musicians heading to Tennessee."
"Throughout the 1990s, in the face of environmental rules targeting acid rain and other forms of air pollution, Appalachia coal cleaned up its act, literally. The industry innovated and installed new technology, called “scrubbers,” to burn its coal more cleanly. Today the coal industry faces another round of regulations confronting an even larger environmental problem: global warming. Technology offers a solution, at least in theory, but it’s not yet ready to be the savior coal needs."
"An upcoming summit on the future success of Southern and Eastern Kentucky will take place Monday, Dec. 9, at the Eastern Kentucky Exposition Center in Pikeville. 'S.O.A.R.: Shaping Our Appalachian Region' will be jointly hosted by Gov. Steve Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers and will include hundreds of the region’s residents. Attendees are expected to share new ideas and recommendations about how to move Kentucky’s Appalachian region forward."
" For an increasing number of America's coal miners, the sunset on a career spent underground is being consumed in unrelenting legal battles with coal companies over the cause of their bone-rattling coughs, shortness of breath and difficulty sleeping. While thousands of miners have been told by their own doctors they have a disabling form of black lung disease, coal companies are fighting that diagnosis and the roughly $1,000-a-month in disability payments they would owe to miners who are proven to be stricken. And the coal companies are winning."
" Black lung is the miner's malady -- a deadly disease tied to years of coal dust inhalation. Though stricter safety standards have led to a decline in black lung deaths since the 1970s, the disease still looms in mining states such as Pennsylvania and West Virginia, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and is at the center of a new yearlong investigation by ABC News' Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross."
"Coal companies have paid millions of dollars to Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions over the last decade for medical opinions that have been used to deny hundreds of ailing mine workers meager black lung benefits, a yearlong investigation by ABC News and the Center for Public Integrity found."