The federal government hands out money, and states eagerly depend on it, for things like abandoned coal mine safety, even when its original purpose is no longer needed, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The New York Times writes about Oregon towns that take a different tack as coal-fired power plants are being phased out in the Northwest. Boardman, an agribusiness outpost where the Energy Department recently awarded $25 million for biofuel innovations, is among at least half a dozen ports in the region weighing shipping millions of tons of coal to Asia from the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana.
Flooding in two Chinese coal mines has killed at least 15 miners.
State television and the official Xinhua News Agency say at least 10 miners were killed in a mine in the northern province of Shanxi. The fate of one missing miner was unknown following the flood Friday morning.
American Crossroads, the conservative super-PAC aligned with Karl Rove, is planning a $175,00 radio ad campaign hitting President Obama on coal regulations in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, The Hill reports.
West Virginia mine safety officials are moving to unlicense a foreman at a mine where an explosion killed 29, saying he didn't turn on his methane detector when he was supposed to be checking for the explosive gas.
The Charleston Gazette (http://bit.ly/IDWlks) says a hearing for Jeremy Burghduff is set for May 15 before the state Coal Mine Safety Board of Appeals.
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. coal exports reached their highest level in two decades last year as strong demand from Asia and Europe offered an outlet for a fuel that is falling from favor at home.
U.S. Department of Energy data analyzed by The Associated Press reveal that coal exports topped 107 million tons of fuel worth almost $16 billion in 2011. That's the highest level since 1991, and more than double the export volume from 2006.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — The new owner of the West Virginia coal mine where 29 men died in explosion two years ago on Thursday has announced it will soon begin work to permanently seal the underground mine with concrete and finish the job by summer.
Virginia-based Alpha Natural Resources, which acquired the mine when it bought Massey Energy last summer, said late Wednesday it will seal the portals — large tunnels miners use to get underground — at the Upper Big Branch mine. Boreholes will be plugged and shafts that house the huge industrial fans meant to sweep bad air out of the mine will be capped to prevent any access.
The head of the United Mine Workers Association compares the new EPA rule on greenhouse gas emissions for power plants to having the coal industry suffer the fatal fate of Osama bin Laden, Fuelfix reports.
A new federal regulation that takes effect on Thursday expands the list of hazardous conditions that coal mine operators are required to address, including the kinds of conditions that led to the deadly 2010 explosion at Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., pledged to push a vote to complete the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste facility in Nevada if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., moves to limit filibusters, Roll Call reports.