November 28, 2012 |
WASHINGTON -- The former president of a Massey coal mine in West Virginia was charged with conspiracy to violate federal safety laws at various company mining sites in a widening criminal probe that began after a 2010 explosion that killed 29 miners. David C. Hughart, former president of Massey's Green Valley Coal Co., agreed to plead guilty and cooperate with federal law enforcement agents investigating allegations that company officials ordered workers to violate standards for maintaining airflow through mines and limiting combustible coal dust, all allegedly in attempts to maximize profits over employee safety.
September 19, 2012 |
WASHINGTON -- On Wednesday, the Mitt Romney campaign released an ad spotlighting President Obama's putative "War On Coal," despite a controversy in Ohio about the coal miners' rally featured in the spot. In the ad, Romney appears on a stage before rows of hard-hatted miners, their faces smudged with coal dust, as he says, “We have 250 years of coal. Why wouldn't we use it?” The rally was held last month in Beallsville, Ohio, thick with miners from the Century coal mine, owned by Murray Energy, a major donor to Republican causes.
July 3, 2012 |
A derailed Spokane-bound train interrupted an interstate railroad thoroughfare for more than 24 hours, but the tracks were to reopen Tuesday night, BNSF Railway Co. officials said. The freight train derailed Monday, spewing 31 cars and tons of coal dust across the arid grasslands of southeast Washington. More than 50 workers from a nearby town bulldozed 30 of the 31 cars into a heap, righted the last one, and cleared the tracks, officials said. The derailment remains under investigation, but it provides fodder for opponents of a proposed increase in coal shipping in the Pacific Northwest.
March 27, 2012 |
The federal agency charged with ensuring mine safety failed to enforce laws that might have prevented the Upper Big Branch mine explosion that killed 29 coal miners and seriously injured two others, according to an independent assessment of the 2010 incident. If the Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration had enforced existing safety laws in a timely manner, “it would have lessened the chances of - and possibly could have prevented - the explosion,” a four-person panel of mine safety experts concluded.
June 2, 2011 |
Wang Wenlin and his family have eked out a living for decades farming and herding sheep and cattle on the vast, unforgiving Inner Mongolian steppes. But the opening three years ago of a nearby colliery and railway line to transport coal across his grazing land has squeezed Wang's livelihood. "My animals only have so much land to graze," said Wang, who earns about $9,000 a year. "In the winter, I'm cut off from the closest city. When it's windy, we get covered in coal dust because it's an open mine.
March 5, 2011 |
This year an epic fight is brewing along the West Coast, one that may make as much difference to the future of our climate as anything that happens in Washington, D.C., and one that may also serve as a decisive battle in defining the U.S. relationship with China. Nature left a lot of coal in the Powder River Basin of southeast Montana and northeast Wyoming. The region produces as much coal as all of Appalachia; its Black Thunder Mine is the nation's largest. Most of this coal takes a long train trip southeast to fuel many of the nation's power plants.