The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest News

January 21, 2011

Environmentalists show agency support

Environmental leaders in West Virginia see the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to yank a permit from a proposed $250 million mine in Logan County as “a new era of civility” and are encouraging the federal agency to look at other installations.

As miners, industry and political leaders gathered outside the Capitol for a “Rally for Coal,” touting the resource’s economic and energy values, environmentalists arrived with a counter message.

Mining imposes severe negative impacts on folks living where it is produced, said Chuck Nelson, a member of the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition’s board.

“Not only is mountaintop removal mining an environmental justice issue, but more so it is a human rights issue,” he said. “West Virginia elected officials have a lackadaisical attitude when it comes to investigating why the health of our state’s people is so poor. The EPA is doing their job by applying the law and the science.”

Nelson called on the EPA to put other pending permits under the same microscope as the Spruce No. 1, which had been approved after a 10-year review, but then was rejected on grounds that the plan couldn’t pass muster with the Clean Water Act.

Activists shadowed pro-coal lawmakers at the Capitol with photographs, water samples and documented damage caused by mining practices.

“I believe the Spruce decision ushers in a new era of civility in mountain communities beneath and near mountaintop removal sites,” said Bo Webb, a volunteer organizer for Coal River Mountain Watch.

“Our representatives should be acknowledging the health effects that mountaintop removal poses and calling for an immediate moratorium on all mountaintop removal operations.”

Coal operators and government officials are inciting violence in mountaintop mining, ignoring the ill effects on the health of the public, Coal River Mountain Watch co-director Debbie Jarrell said.

“The fear-mongering has to stop,” she said. “Mountaintop removal has to stop. It’s time the politicians get their heads out of the sand and quit being lobbyists for the coal companies.”

— E-mail:

Text Only
Latest News
  • pittsburgh rally 5,000 rally in Pittsburgh against EPA Clean Power Plan

    The echo of people chanting, “Hey, hey, EPA, don’t take our jobs away” could be heard in downtown Pittsburgh Thursday.

    The voices came from about 5,000 United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) members and their families, along with other unions such as the Boilermakers and the Brotherhood of Electrical Workers International (IBEW), marching through the streets.


    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Alpha plans to idle coal workers

    Approximately 1,100 employees at 11 Alpha Resources-affiliated surface mines, preparation plants and other support operations in southern West Virginia got notice late Thursday afternoon that their jobs could be in jeopardy.


    August 1, 2014

  • New rules to fight black lung disease kick in today

    Joe Massie has spent the last 22 years of his life fighting a disease that takes his breath away, a disease he contracted deep underground in the coal mines over a period of 30 years. 

    Black lung may take away his breath; it has not stilled his voice.

    August 1, 2014

  • target red Zero tolerance Target Red campaign hopes to lessen intersection crashes

    It happens every day.

    A driver hurries on his or her way to work, school or maybe nowhere in particular. Just ahead, a green light turns yellow. With a little more gas, the vehicle just might be able to clear the intersection before that light turns red. Or maybe not. 

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Alpha announces intention to lay off 1,100 surface miners

    The announcement dealt another blow to Appalachia's iconic, but dwindling, fossil fuel industry. The company said 2015 industry forecasts show Central Appalachian coal production will be less than half of its 2009 output. It's due to a combination of familiar factors, Alpha said: competition from cheaper natural gas, weak domestic and international markets and low coal prices.


    July 31, 2014

  • Justice mines have violations in 5 states

    A West Virginia coal billionaire has more than 250 pending violations at mining operations in Kentucky and four other states.

    July 31, 2014

  • VA Greenbrier clinic to remain closed

    The Department of Veterans Affairs Greenbrier County Community Based Outpatient Clinic will remain closed due to ongoing correction of environmental concerns. 

    July 31, 2014

  • prezarrested.jpg Protesters arrested at UMWA Rally in Pittsburgh

    After marching from the David L. Lawrence Convention Center to the William S. Moorehead Federal Building in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, around 15 United Mine Workers of America (UMW) leaders were arrested.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • Mercer shooting sends one to hospital

     One person has been shot following an apparent altercation in the Montcalm area of Mercer County.

    July 31, 2014

  • UMWA1.jpg More than 5,000 protesting new EPA rules at rally

    Today, 73 buses will bring miners and UMW members to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for a labor rally and march through downtown Pittsburgh.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story