The Wheeling Alternative

Coal mining

Mountaintop removal and some history

Documenting mountaintop removal

Silvrback blog image

iLoveMountains.org is an invaluable resource if you care about the Appalachian mountains and what mountaintop removal is doing to them. The site is up with a new resource (with an interactive map) called "Communities at risk from mountaintop removal."

For years, it was impossible to track the spread . . .

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April 28, 2015

Fracking news update

stories not covered locally

Fracking companies going bankrupt

Bloomberg Business News is reporting that "Half of U.S. Fracking Companies Will Be Dead or Sold This Year."

Half of the 41 fracking companies operating in the U.S. will be dead or sold by year-end because of slashed spending by oil companies, an executive with Weatherford International Plc said.

. . .

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Posted in: fracking

April 25, 2015

Divorcing ourselves from reality

Renewable energy and the future of West Virginia

The McClatchy News Service published an article about the growth of jobs in the renewable energy sector on Wednesday. Here's the lede:

Far more jobs have been created in wind and solar in recent years than lost in the collapse of the coal industry, and renewable energy is poised for record growth in the United States this year.

The . . .

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April 24, 2015

"Same As It Ever Was" -- the Bob Murray Wheeling area service organization tour continues

Murray speaks to the St. Clairsville Rotary

The CEO of Murray Energy, Bob Murray, added yet another Wheeling area service club to his local speaking tour and once again a reporter for Ogden newspapers was there to cover it. From the description in the Intelligencer, yesterday's speech to the St. Clairsville Rotary was apparently very similar to the ones that he delivered to the . . .

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April 22, 2015

Coal ash

The Intelligencer once again ignores its harms

This morning's Intelligencer editorial on coal ash tells us why we need local Representative David McKinley's proposal to limit the EPA's oversight of coal ash. The editorial gives the reader the impression that coal ash is just a harmless byproduct of the use of coal by electric plants. (Hey, it's "used in a variety of . . .

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Posted in: coal ashmckinley

April 21, 2015

More "war on coal" perspectives

"The presence of the coal industry has kept these communities in a state of dependence, and not allowed them to develop a real economy beyond coal. Whether we pine for the days of these jobs or not, they’re not coming back. We have to get beyond this state of dependency." - - Richard Martin in "Coal Wars."

Two weeks ago I wrote about a new book, journalist Richard Martin's Coal Wars. Late last week, two additional articles used Martin's book as a starting place for a discussion of the "war on coal."

Tim McDonnell of Grist looked at Kentucky senator Mitch McConnell's attempt to change the inevitable future in "Coal is . . .

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April 20, 2015

What have our senators been doing lately?

Democrat-in-name-only (DINO) Joe Manchin

Both of these votes have garnered very little notice from the media.

The Estate Tax

Three weeks ago I wrote about Manchin being the only Democrat to vote for an amendment that would have eliminated the Estate Tax. (See "Odds and Ends" April 3 at wheelingalternative.com). On Thursday he once . . .

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April 19, 2015


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