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



RECLAIM Act Passes House Natural Resources Committee

Friday, June 30th, 2017 | Posted by Thom Kay | 3 Comments

The RECLAIM Act would accelerate the cleanup of abandoned mines while spurring economic opportunities in coal communities. [ More ]

White House budget leaves Appalachia in the dust

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017 | Posted by Thom Kay | No Comments

The White House released its budget blueprint last week, and the proposal is nothing short of a disaster for Appalachia and rural communities across the country. Here's a look at a few agencies and programs the White House wants to completely eliminate if it had its way. [ More ]

Congress must act to protect coal miners’ benefits

Friday, March 10th, 2017 | Posted by Thom Kay | No Comments

In a matter of weeks, health care benefits for thousands of retired union coal miners will run out. In just a matter of years, the entire United Mine Workers pension plan, which covers nearly 90,000 former coal miners and their widows, may become insolvent. [ More ]

America’s miners deserve better than this; time to do your part

Thursday, December 8th, 2016 | Posted by Thom Kay | No Comments

America owes a debt to the nation’s coal miners. The Miners Protection Act would begin to pay that debt, but the opportunity for Congress to pass the bill is quickly slipping away. [ More ]

Revitalizing Appalachia from the ground up

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016 | Posted by Thom Kay | No Comments

In February, a bill was introduced in Congress that would expedite funding to clean up old coal mining sites and redevelop them specifically to foster economic growth. The RECLAIM Act is now in committee and the language is expected to change a bit in the coming weeks. As Congress considers those changes, lawmakers should look to communities impacted by the coal industry, in Appalachia and across the country, whose perspective is vital to the bill's success. [ More ]

Budget holds promise for Central Appalachia

Friday, December 18th, 2015 | Posted by Thom Kay | 1 Comment

Today the U.S. Congress passed a spending bill that covers expenditures for agencies including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of the Interior, Department of Labor, and the Appalachian Regional Commission. The spending bill is a big deal for Appalachian Voices and our work. And honestly, it looks pretty darn good. [ More ]

One month, two hearings on mountaintop removal

Thursday, June 4th, 2015 | Posted by Thom Kay | 1 Comment

dustin testimonyIt’s rare that Appalachians have their voices heard in Congress. But twice in the past month, residents have had the opportunity to testify about mountaintop removal mining at two different U.S. House hearings. The lesson we learned? Congress does not want to help end mountaintop removal and they’d prefer not to hear about it. [ More ]

Welcome to Congress, Mr. Mooney. Your bill is the worst.

Monday, April 6th, 2015 | Posted by Thom Kay | 3 Comments

mooney Alex Mooney is newly elected to Congress, from West Virginia's 2nd district. His first bill is a doozie - it would stop a stream protection rule he’s never seen, have drastically different impacts than he thinks, and be written and enforced by an agency whose purpose he doesn’t understand. [ More ]

Well, that was quick

Thursday, January 15th, 2015 | Posted by Thom Kay | 5 Comments

davidvitterIt was only a matter of time before the new Congress would commence with its anti-environmental, anti-science agenda. But 24 hours? That we weren't expecting. [ More ]

What will Obama’s legacy be on mountaintop removal?

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014 | Posted by Thom Kay | No Comments

GRreport After six years of the Obama presidency, mountaintop removal coal mining continues to put Appalachian communities at risk, leading many to wonder what his legacy on the issue will be. The Alliance for Appalachia just released a Grassroots Progress Report examining the administration’s successes and shortfalls in dealing with mountaintop removal. [ More ]

Be cool and keep fighting

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014 | Posted by Thom Kay | 3 Comments

15339824261_284508c1c6_hFor the next couple of days, you’ll have a hard time looking at anything online or on TV that doesn’t try to break down the midterm elections. Most pundits will analyze what happened, and some will try to tell you what it all means. Whatever that is, the job before us has not changed, and our responsibilities to Appalachia are the same today as they were yesterday and will be tomorrow. [ More ]

A Washington Post editorial on mountaintop removal’s dirty consequences

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 | Posted by Thom Kay | 5 Comments

14675904178_2a09aa383a_zThe Washington Post published a strongly worded editorial condemning mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia that cites recent studies revealing the practice's dirty consequences. With the mounting scientific evidence that mining pollution is decimating aquatic life, wiping out trees and mountains, and promoting a host of human health problems, there is no excuse to continue allowing mountaintop removal. [ More ]