Coal Mining

2:45pm

Thu February 28, 2013
The Two-Way

Former Massey CEO Accused Of Conspiracy In Court Hearing

Former Chairman and CEO of Massey Energy Don Blankenship in 2010.
Alex Wong Getty Images

A relatively routine plea hearing in Beckley, W.Va, Thursday, took an unexpected and dramatic turn when a former Massey Energy executive implicated former CEO Don Blankenship in a criminal conspiracy.

It's the first time Blankenship has been publicly named as an alleged conspirator in the ongoing federal criminal investigation of the 2010 explosion at Massey's Upper Big Branch coal mine.

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3:13pm

Mon January 21, 2013
Around the Nation

In Kentucky's Coal Country, A Resentment For Obama

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 6:22 pm

The Big Sandy Power Plant, 4 miles north of Louisa, is the biggest industry in Lawrence County. Local residents blame President Obama's environmental policies for the company's plans to close the plant in 2015.
Noah Adams NPR

If the voters in Louisa, Ky., had their wish, Mitt Romney would have taken the oath of office Monday. Louisa is in eastern Kentucky, and "coal" was the one-word issue in the election. President Obama is seen as an enemy of coal mining and he got only 27 percent of the vote in the county.

And now comes word that Louisa is going to lose its biggest industry — a power generating plant that's been burning coal since 1962.

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12:28pm

Thu January 17, 2013
The Two-Way

Massey Mine Boss Sentenced; Feds Toughen Mine Safety Rule

Mine helmets and painted crosses were placed at the entrance to Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch coal mine as a memorial to the 29 miners killed there.
Jeff Gentner AP

Nearly three years after a deadly mine explosion in West Virginia, a former Massey Energy mine superintendent has been sentenced to prison and federal regulators have toughened a regulation that could have helped prevent the disaster.

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4:11pm

Fri January 11, 2013
Energy

Coal Loses Crown As King Of Power Generation

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 4:31 pm

Georgia Power's coal-fired steam-turbine electric generating Plant Bowen in Euharlee, Ga., seen in 2009. The utility is planning on shuttering 15 coal- and oil-fired generating units at its facilities.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Just a few years ago, Georgia Power generated nearly three-fourths of its electricity with coal. Last year, for the first time, natural gas edged out coal, and just this week the company announced plans to close 10 coal-fired power generators within the next few years.

"We do recognize this is a historic event for our company. We've never announced this many closings at one time," says Mark Williams, a company spokesperson.

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4:48am

Sun December 23, 2012
Energy

2012 Was A Big Year For Fossil Fuels

Originally published on Sun December 23, 2012 10:41 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

For more than 40 years, American presidents have talked about the need for the U.S. to become energy-independent. Easy to talk about, difficult to make happen. But some recent discoveries could mean a giant leap in that direction. We begin this hour talking about energy and whether it's the kind that burns to power the internal combustion engine in your car, or the kind that harnesses wind to turn on the lights in your house.

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