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Coal Mines

April 8, 2010 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
Mining coal is much like working in a natural gas well. The same things that produce coal and oil -- dead organic material, heat and pressure -- also produce natural gas, whose primary constituent is methane. The gas is trapped in a coal seam or petroleum reservoir by pressure and water, only to be released when workers drill into the strata. "It's a tremendous nuisance," said mining engineer Christopher J. Bise of West Virginia University. "It's colorless, odorless and tasteless, but highly flammable."
March 2, 2013 | By Neela Banerjee, Washington Bureau
BELLAIRE, Ohio - The four miners who gathered one blustery morning at the United Mine Workers of America hall know that, so far, they are lucky. Their coal mines along the West Virginia state line are still working, having survived a painful 30-year decline in the industry. But a new threat has pushed into Ohio, imperiling the primacy of coal here and all over the country.   "I feel worried about the future, that natural gas is a threat to us," said Tim Merryman, 54. "Some of those coal plants will convert [to natural gas]
May 19, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
Operators of underground coal mines will be required to take far stronger action to prevent explosions like the one that killed 12 men at the Sago Mine last year, under new rules issued by the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration. The rules, which take effect Tuesday, follow the agency's conclusion that lightning sparked methane gas in a sealed section of the West Virginia mine.
November 28, 2012 | By Richard Serrano
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.
April 9, 1986 | Associated Press
Fatalities from collapsed roofs in coal mines are running at their highest level in four years, with 11 miners killed during the first three months of 1986, government officials reported Tuesday.
November 24, 2005 | From Associated Press
A federal appeals court on Wednesday reinstated streamlined permitting for mountaintop-removal coal mines in West Virginia. U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin last year revoked 11 permits issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under the Nationwide Permit 21 process, which is intended for activities that cause no more than minimal environmental damage. A three-judge panel of the U.S.
April 23, 2000 | From Times Wire Services
A gas explosion buried 44 miners in a coal mine for two days, leaving 40 dead and three missing in northern China, the official Legal Daily reported Saturday. The blast, the latest this year for China's deadly mining industry, occurred April 15, trapping the 44 miners in the Yongcai coal mine in northern Shanxi province, 360 miles southwest of Beijing, the newspaper said. Rescuers found only one survivor, reaching him Monday.
The Kremlin on Monday signed over control of Russia's coal mines to the Russian Federation in an attempt to end a crippling two-month strike and agreed to give the largest Soviet republic its own state security agency. The two moves signaled a watershed for the Russian Federation's leader, Boris N. Yeltsin, who has been pressing Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev to transfer to the republics authority over their own economic resources and political affairs.
August 23, 2004 | George Skelton
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was sitting in his smoking tent one afternoon last April, mocking old Capitol hands who had warned him about the drudgery of nonstop bill-signing in September. To the contrary, the new governor insisted, he was looking forward to the chore. "I hear," he said, slowly drawing out the words in a deep, ominous tone, " 'Wait until all these bills have to be signed. There'll be 1,400 bills you will sign -- just sitting there, day and night, just signing bills.' " He laughed.
April 24, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
France closed the La Houve coal mine -- its last -- saying goodbye to a trade that endured for nearly three centuries and underpinned the Industrial Revolution. One last and symbolic lump of coal was extracted in an evening ceremony at the mine in the northeastern town of Creutzwald, near the German border. The coal industry once employed 300,000 people, but nuclear power now supplies 80% of France's electricity.
August 14, 2012 | By Christi Parsons
OSAKALOOSA, Iowa - The presidential candidates turn to the topic of energy Tuesday as they travel to different battleground states with different interests in future U.S. energy policy. In Iowa, President Obama plans to talk about wind energy as he pushes Congress to extend the production tax credit for companies investing in this growing alternative source. In Ohio coal country, meanwhile, Republican Mitt Romney is expected to talk about Obama's “war on coal” and the strain he says it puts on an industry that helps to power the state's economy.
August 14, 2012 | By Seema Mehta, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
BEALLSVILLE, Ohio -- Visiting Appalachian coal country on Tuesday, Mitt Romney accused President Obama of “waging a war on coal,” and pledged to pursue all forms of domestic energy so the nation would no longer be dependent on sources outside of North America. “We have 250 years of coal, why in the heck wouldn't we use it?” Romney said, speaking in front of hard-hat-wearing miners who roared in approval. “We're going to take advantage of our energy resources to save your jobs, to create more jobs.” Romney spoke in the parking lot of the American Energy Corp.
August 1, 2012 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
Gore Vidal, who died Tuesday night at age 86, was a fixture on the American cultural landscape for so long that it seems hard to imagine our literature without him. From 1946, when his first novel, "Williwaw," became one of the first to evoke World War II in fiction, through the publication of his final memoir, "Snapshots in History's Glare," in 2009, Vidal was ubiquitous: a writer and a social critic, a talk show guest and raconteur. A product of the American aristocracy - his grandfather was Oklahoma Sen. Thomas Gore - Vidal wrote literary fiction and potboilers, worked in Hollywood (most notably on MGM's 1959 production of "Ben-Hur")
July 27, 2012 | By Robert Bryce
Standing in the dispatch office of the North Antelope Rochelle Mine near Gillette, Wyo., Scott Durgin pointed at a flat-panel display. The regional vice president for Peabody Energy smiled. The most productive coal mine in the world was on target. Since midnight, about one train an hour had been loaded, each carrying about 16,000 tons of coal. I asked Durgin how long Peabody could continue mining in the region. Easily for five more decades, he replied. "There's no end to the coal here.
June 23, 2012 | By Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times
Environmental groups are urging Los Angeles lawmakers to fight the proposed expansion of a strip mine near Utah's Bryce Canyon National Park that for years has helped power Southern California. The City Council is considering a resolution opposing the expansion of the Coal Hollow Mine onto federal lands. The mine produces coal for Utah's Intermountain Power Plant, which in turn provides the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power with more than a quarter of its electricity. The company that owns the 635-acre mine wants to expand its operations more than fivefold to meet ongoing demand.
February 6, 2012 | By Robin Abcarian
Fresh off his victory in Nevada, Mitt Romney turned his attention to Colorado, whose voters will caucus on Tuesday. In the modest meeting room of a slightly faded motel on the Rockies' Western slope, where mining companies and environmentalists have battled over coal extraction, Romney slammed President Obama's energy policies. “I share his desire to see renewable sources of energy developed,” Romney said to loud applause. “But don't forget we also have to have carbon-based fuels like natural gas or oil and coal.  The president said in his State of the Union address the other night that he was in favor of 'all of the above,' but then you look at the actions of his EPA and you realize they are really in favor of 'none of the above.' They hold off the development of our coal with regulations, they hold off on development of our natural gas resources, they hold off on the drilling of our oil…My policy will be that America must be energy secure and energy independent from the oil cartels.” The message resonated with the crowd of a couple hundred.
May 1, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
An explosion in a coal mine in northern China killed 35 workers, state media and a local official said. The blast ripped through the mine in Linfen, a city in Shanxi province, about 380 miles southwest of Beijing, the New China News Agency reported. The agency said 49 miners were in the shaft at the time, and 13 of them had been rescued. One miner was still missing. China's mines are the world's deadliest. Last year, 6,702 people were killed in coal mine accidents, government statistics show.
May 14, 2003 | From Times Wire Reports
An explosion tore through a coal mine in eastern China, killing 63 miners and leaving 23 missing, the official New China News Agency reported. The gas explosion struck the Luling mine near the city of Hefei in Anhui and 27 of the 113 people in the mine at the time were rescued, the agency said. The cause of the blast was under investigation, the agency said. About 7,000 people died in Chinese mine accidents last year.
June 7, 2011 | Colby Itkowitz, Washington Bureau
After a brass-band instrumental fit for a summer blockbuster's battle scene, Rick Santorum launched his presidential bid from ancestral turf Monday, imploring an enthusiastic crowd of several hundred to join his fight for the White House. "I'm ready to lead. I'm ready to do what has to be done for the next generation, with the courage to fight for freedom, with the courage to fight for America," the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania said from the steps of the Somerset County Courthouse.
June 6, 2011 | By Colby Itkowitz, Morning Call
Rick Santorum launched his White House bid from ancestral turf Monday, imploring an enthusiastic crowd of several hundred to join his fight. FOR THE RECORD An earlier version of this online article described Ron Paul as a former Texas congressman. Paul is currently serving his 12th term representing Texas' 14th congressional district . "I'm ready to lead. I'm ready to do what has to be done for the next generation, with the courage to fight for freedom, with the courage to fight for America," the former U.S. senator said from the steps of the Somerset County Courthouse.
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