The Front Porch Blog, with Updates from AppalachiaThe Front Porch Blog, with Updates from Appalachia

Underground Mine Blowout Causes Flood, Property Damage in Virginia

Tuesday, February 12th, 2019 | Posted by Willie Dodson | No Comments

Accumulated water bursting out of one of CM Mining, LLC’s operations in Hurley, VA, causes flooding and property damage in nearby neighborhood. [ More ]


Five Years after Dan River: Coal Ash in N.C.

Monday, February 11th, 2019 | Posted by Ridge Graham | No Comments

The Dan River coal ash spill sparked a flurry of coal ash cleanup legislation, public hearings, community meetings and more across North Carolina. But where does coal ash stand in the state now? [ More ]


In Tennessee, electric bill fees hurt customers

Thursday, January 31st, 2019 | Posted by AV's Intern Team | No Comments

As Tennessee electric utilities seek to maintain profits, they are are increasing fixed fees on customer electric bills, regardless of how much electricity they use. That's patently unfair, especially for lower-income people. [ More ]


Cuts to funding for black lung benefits

Friday, January 25th, 2019 | Posted by Willie Dodson | 1 Comment

Despite significant grassroots pressure, an excise tax that pays into a healthcare and disability fund for miners with black lung was slashed in half. The lack of action by Congress amounts to a tax break for coal companies while putting benefits for former miners and their families at risk. [ More ]


Virginia’s Union Hill community continues fight for environmental justice

Thursday, January 24th, 2019 | Posted by Lara Mack | No Comments

Pipeline resisters were distraught - but, alas, not surprised - when Va. regulators OK'd a huge fracked-gas compressor station in historic Union Hill. But all vowed to continue the fight for environmental justice. [ More ]


One neighbor shares the devastating impact of Mountain Valley Pipeline construction on her animals and family

Thursday, January 17th, 2019 | Posted by Guest Contributor | No Comments

Arietta Ann DuPre's land and her neighbor’s land in Wayside, W.Va., serves as a home for rescued horses and other animals – and in early 2018, Mountain Valley Pipeline developers cut her horses' pasture land in two. [ More ]


Virginians brace for the fallout from Westmoreland Coal’s bankruptcy

Friday, January 11th, 2019 | Posted by Matt Hepler | No Comments

Westmoreland Coal's bankruptcy puts health benefits for 500 Virginians and pensions for 7,000 former Virginia miners in jeopardy. A bill proposed in the Senate would protect these benefits — and also shore up the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund. [ More ]


Westmoreland Coal’s Appalachian connection

Wednesday, January 9th, 2019 | Posted by Matt Hepler | No Comments

In October 2018, the oldest coal company in the United States filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. While now largely operating in the western United States, Westmoreland has many ties to Southwest Virginia. [ More ]


100 sign letter to Va. air board to reject frack-gas facility in African-American community

Tuesday, December 11th, 2018 | Posted by Cat McCue | No Comments

Environmental justice advocates Karenna Gore, Mustafa Santiago Ali, Don Cheadle and Ed Begley, Jr. were among the 100 people who signed a letter to Va. regulators urging a denial of huge compressor station in the largely African-American community of Union Hill. [ More ]


Central Appalachia’s newest coal boss facing bankruptcies

Monday, December 10th, 2018 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

Virginia businessman Tom Clarke's foray into the coal industry initially looked promising for addressing environmental and community problems. Now, however, his business model is looking questionable. [ More ]


Virginia electric co-ops fight to keep doors closed to members

Monday, December 3rd, 2018 | Posted by Brianna Knisley | 2 Comments

Rural electric co-ops were set up as democratic institutions, but have increasingly become unresponsive to their customers, who are also owner-members. In Virginia, members of two co-ops are challenging the status quo. [ More ]


Coal industry sees bankruptcies and exports in volatile 2018

Monday, November 26th, 2018 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

Some coal companies appear to be banking on opportunities for short-term gain with metallurgical coal, but the metallurgical market can only prop up the industry for so long. [ More ]