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



A story found “In the Hills and Hollows”

Friday, June 5th, 2015 | Posted by Guest Contributor | 3 Comments

Filmmaker Keely Kernan is currently producing In the Hills and Hollows, a documentary feature that follows the lives of several West Virginians in the middle of the state's natural gas boom. By juxtaposing the boom and bust coal industry that has long dominated the landscape with the current natural gas boom, Kernan hopes to promote an important conversation about the type of future West Virginians want to create. [ More ]

Silas House: A Remembrance of Jean Ritchie

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015 | Posted by Guest Contributor | 2 Comments

Jean in dulcimer shop "Kindness always lit up the face of Jean Ritchie," begins this remembrance by author Silas House of the Appalachian folk icon who died yesterday at 92. "She was a source of incredible pride for my people. Everyone I knew loved Jean Ritchie, and they especially loved the way she represented Appalachian people: with generosity and sweetness, yes. But also with defiance and strength." [ More ]

“MVP” is not a most valued project

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015 | Posted by Guest Contributor | No Comments

tinabadgercroppedOpposition is mounting to the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline that would carry highly pressurized natural gas for 300 miles through farms and forests from W.Va. to Va. Several counties have taken action to oppose or question the project, and citizens all along the route are making their voices heard. Guest blogger Tina Badger is one. [ More ]

Today, I prayed we #kickcoalash

Monday, February 2nd, 2015 | Posted by Guest Contributor | No Comments

belewsGuest Contributor Caroline Rutledge Armijo: On Sunday, Residents for Coal Ash Clean Up met on Belews Lake, overlooking the smokestacks at Duke Energy's Belews Steam Station in Stokes County, N.C. Today marks the one year anniversary of the coal ash spill into the Dan River, the third largest coal ash spill in our nation’s history but likely a drop in the bucket of what would happen if there was a spill at Belews Creek. [ More ]

Virginia must guard against Freedom Industries-type spill

Monday, January 26th, 2015 | Posted by Guest Contributor | 1 Comment

sachsUniversity of Richmond law professor Noah Sachs recalls the W.Va. crisis last year, when some 300,000 people were left without clean tap water because of a major spill from chemical storage tanks. Guess what - Virginia essentially has no laws to regulate land-based storage of toxic chemicals near rivers. As Sachs has documented, dozens of businesses each storing more than 1 million pounds of toxic chemicals are located on major rivers, including the James, Shenandoah and Potomac. [ More ]

Community solar projects expand access to clean energy in the Tennessee Valley and beyond

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 | Posted by Guest Contributor | No Comments

dremc-solar1Guest Contributor Taylor Allred: Solar fever is sweeping the nation, but not everyone has the opportunity to take advantage of the clean energy opportunity at hand. One promising solution to the obstacles limiting access to solar are community solar projects, which allow individuals to purchase a portion of a larger-scale solar installation that is typically managed by their utility. [ More ]

Successful Rally at the White House Council on Environmental Quality

Monday, September 15th, 2014 | Posted by Guest Contributor | No Comments

15191861772_3decf3bca2 Last week, Appalachian citizens and allies from across the country rallied at the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). Dana Kuhnline, media coordinator for The Alliance for Appalachia, writes that residents are tired of waiting for the administration to act on promises it made in 2009 and are ready for a just transition to an economy beyond mountaintop removal and other destructive coal practices. [ More ]

About gray matter: One artist’s experience with the health impacts of coal ash

Friday, September 5th, 2014 | Posted by Guest Contributor | 3 Comments

carolinewithkidsResidents of the Belews Creek community of Stokes County, N.C., have been speaking out about the serious health threat from the nearby massive coal ash pit, which is the largest in the state. Artist Caroline Armijo, who has seen too many of her friends and neighbors die from cancer, is one of them. [ More ]

Carl Shoupe: Seeing through the “War on Coal” smokescreen

Thursday, August 21st, 2014 | Posted by Guest Contributor | 3 Comments

4388474014_6cdabe44a7_z"Instead of raging about a made-up war on coal and how to protect coal corporations, Congress should take a closer look at how to really support coal communities," Kentuckians For The Commonwealth member and retired miner Carl Shoupe writes. [ More ]

An Appalachian mother finds inspiration, and inspires

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 | Posted by Guest Contributor | 1 Comment

mullinsfamily"Inspiration is something we all can use, especially if it is inspiration to change things for a brighter and cleaner future." - Rusti Mullins, a mother of two and wife of a former Va. coal miner reflects on her summer traveling with her family on the Breaking Clean Tour. [ More ]

Parallels between New England whalers and Appalachian coal miners

Friday, June 27th, 2014 | Posted by Guest Contributor | No Comments

WhalingVoyage_ca1848_byRussell_and_Purrington_detail_NewBedfordWhalingMuseum8Nick Mullins, a former Va. coal miner, discovers the parallels between New England whalers from two centuries ago and the current conundrum facing Appalachia's coal mining community. Nick and his family are journeying around the east this summer on the "Breaking Clean Tour" to raise public awareness of mountaintop removal mining, and learn about more sustainable paths to prosperity. [ More ]

Appalachian Power wants higher bills for homeowners who go solar

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014 | Posted by Guest Contributor | 5 Comments

Guest post by Virginia writer and lawyer Ivy Main: Appalachian Power Company is seeking permission from utility regulators to impose new “standby” charges on residential customers who install solar systems larger than 10 kilowatts. The fee is included in the company’s latest rate proposal, now before the State Corporation Commission. [ More ]