news by location
Study: ‘Tough Task Ahead’ for Coal Country
The Appalachian Regional Commission has published a study by researchers at the University of Tennessee and West Virginia University that documents “a vicious cycle at work” in the decline of the coal industry and its wide-ranging impact on local and regional economies. “Talk of bringing back coal is a distraction from the real work that needs to be done,” said the president of the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development.
In coal country, a flood of money to build other businesses
Grants from the Appalachian Regional Commission support innovative job creation and training efforts in coal communities
Natural Capital Investment Fund Borrower Profile: Sport Outfitters, LLC
From coal miner to business owner: JTF grantee NCIF profiles Sport Outfitters, LLC
Brandon Dennison of Coalfield Development Coorporation discusses creating a new economy for West Virginia
Commentary: Plan to Subsidize Appalachian Coal Mines Won’t Work
A project by Coalfield Development to turn an old car-parts factory in McDowell County, W. Va., into an arts center embodies a shift occurring across Appalachia in spite of misguided plans by the U.S. Energy Department proposal to subsidize coal stockpiling: “These policies make sense only as a kind of political theatre, according to which both the administration and its many supporters agree to pretend that it is possible to return to some mythical glorious past, when brawny American men, rather than machines or foreigners, smelted steel, mined coal and built things on assembly lines. That world is gone—and even in coal country, some have come to grips with its absence.”
Fact Check: West Virginia’s China Coal Exports
Assertions by President Trump that more “clean coal” is being exported from West Virginia to China as a result of his policies are not supported by fact: “Trump's claim is based on some factual information, namely that coal exports to China have increased in 2017. But his claims of coal cleanliness, his taking of credit and his suggestion that things are changing in West Virginia just don't hold up.”
West Virginia’s Emerging Solar Market
The owner of a solar company in West Virginia sees the industry as a natural for the Mountain State: “The way I think about it as a West Virginian is that West Virginia has always been an energy state and this is just the next step.”
Doubts in West Virginia Over Coal’s Future
While a hearing this week on repeal of the federal Clean Power Plant drew vocal support in West Virginia, some residents used it as an opportunity to talk about a post-coal future. “People in Appalachia are starting to realize that we need to start thinking about additional ways to have economic development and economic activity,” says the director of Energy Efficient West Virginia. “While coal is going to continue to be part of the economy, I don’t think that anybody is under the illusion that it is going to be the main driver of the economy.”
Resistance in Coal Country to Repeal of EPA Clean Power Plan
While critics of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan turned out for a West Virginia public hearing on the plan, supporters showed up as well, including public-health advocates and a former coal miner.
Statewide Initiative in West Virginia Gives Former Miners Marketable Computer Skills
An organization called Mined Minds has certified 80 former coal miners in computer-coding skills and sparked an initiative to open coding “boot camps” statewide. "I think it gives us a chance to diversify ourselves and be something people think we are not," says the state’s senior U.S. senator.
Op-Ed: Wariness in West Virginia Over Chinese Investment in Natural Gas
A newspaper columnist in favor of economic diversification in West Virginia sounds a note of caution over a Chinese proposal to invest $83.7 billion in natural-gas production in the Mountain State. “We can build tourism, high-tech manufacturing or, perhaps health care innovation … we can refuse to become reliant on a single industry.”
Little Truth Seen in President’s Turnaround Boast for West Virginia
A fact-check on assertions by President Trump that he has “turned West Virginia around” with energy-policy rhetoric does not hold up to scrutiny.
Trumps Claims a ‘Turnaround’ in West Virginia, and Credits Himself
“I’ve turned West Virginia around,” the president says in a radio interview this week in which he asserts that the state is flourishing economically since he took office. Politico: “West Virginia’s senators have repeatedly acknowledged coal will never return to where it once was so it’s unclear what exactly Trump’s taking credit for here.”