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Latest Ken Ward Jr. Stories

2008-10-10 18:00:27

By Ken Ward Jr. A Massey Energy contract employee who died Wednesday night in a Boone County mine was the seventh West Virginia coal miner to die on the job this year, state and federal officials said. Steven Cain, 32, of Comfort, was crushed between a railcar and a mine wall at Massey subsidiary Independence Coal's Justice No. 1 Mine near Prenter, said Jama Jarrett, spokeswoman for the state Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training. Cain had a wife and two young children, Jarrett...

2008-10-10 18:00:27

By Ken Ward Jr. For the second time in a year, a state appeals board has thrown out Department of Environmental Protection approval of a new underground mine proposed by International Coal Group for Taylor County. The state Surface Mine Board this week released its decision reversing DEP's approval of a permit for ICG's Tygart No. 1 Mine. Board members ruled that DEP officials did not properly consider potential acid mine drainage from the mine and approved an inadequate ICG plan to...

2008-10-09 18:00:29

By Ken Ward Jr. Bayer CropScience's plant manager apologized to Institute residents Wednesday night, conceding for the first time that company officials botched their communications with local emergency responders after the Aug. 28 fire and explosion that killed one Bayer worker. "I'm sorry," said plant manager Nick Crosby. "We fell short." Crosby said Bayer did not give local emergency crews or Institute- area residents enough detail in the immediate aftermath of the explosion, a move...

2008-10-07 21:00:28

By Ken Ward Jr. When it passed the massive Wall Street bailout legislation last week, Congress threw in a $2.8 billion package of tax breaks for the coal industry. The coal subsidies account for more than one-quarter of the $10.8 billion in energy incentives in the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008, which was tacked onto the government bailout of the nation's financial industry. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., was among the architects of the coal provisions, which offer a...

2008-10-02 21:00:16

By Ken Ward Jr. ONLINE: Read the GAO report at www.gao.gov/new.items/ d081080.pdf Federal policy-makers have taken few of the steps necessary if greenhouse emissions from coal-fired power plants are to be captured and stored underground, according to a new government report. Coal industry backers are banking that "carbon capture and storage" will allow the industry to survive efforts to control global climate change. But the U.S. Government Accountability Project report, released this...

2008-09-30 21:00:26

By Ken Ward Jr. Federal mine safety officials have extended for three weeks the public comment period on a proposed rule to require drug testing of miners who work in "safety-sensitive" jobs in the nation's coal and non-coal mines. The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration also scheduled a public hearing for Oct. 14 in Washington, D.C., and announced plans to show the hearing via videoconference at three other locations. United Mine Workers officials and Sen. Robert C. Byrd,...

2008-09-30 21:00:19

By Ken Ward Jr. CONSOL Energy Inc. will pay more than $400,000 in fines for water pollution violations under a settlement proposed by the state Department of Environmental Protection. The deal cites about 270 violations of permit limits at six CONSOL subsidiaries across the West Virginia. CONSOL's Consolidation Coal Co. subsidiary will pay the largest amount, more than $252,000 in a deal that cites 115 violations of water pollution permit limits. The CONSOL deal is the third such...

2008-09-29 18:00:33

By Ken Ward Jr. Federal investigators looking into last month's deadly explosion at Bayer CropScience's Institute plant say they are going to closely examine the company's delay in providing detailed information to local emergency responders. "That's one of the issues we're very interested in is emergency response and community notification," said John Bresland, chairman of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board. Board investigators are in the early stages of a probe of the Aug. 28 explosion and...

2008-09-26 21:00:23

By Ken Ward Jr. Most West Virginians favor solar and wind power and more conservation over coal, oil and nuclear power as a path toward "energy independence," according to new public opinion surveys released Thursday. West Virginians agree with most Americans that climate change is a pressing problem, and they want alternative energies to receive their fair share of government subsidies, according to the surveys released by a coalition of liberal and environmental groups. "It's great to...

2008-09-23 21:00:19

By Ken Ward Jr. Visit an archive of mountaintop removal coverage. g ONLINE wvgazette.com Environmental groups are trying to stop another new mountaintop removal permit, this one along the Clay-Nicholas county line. Lawyers for the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition sought a preliminary injunction late last week to block the permit for two Fola Coal Co. mines. Together, the mines would bury more than five miles of streams in the Sycamore Run, Ike Fork and Lily fork watersheds, near...


Word of the Day
barratry
  • The offense of persistently instigating lawsuits, typically groundless ones.
  • An unlawful breach of duty on the part of a ship's master or crew resulting in injury to the ship's owner.
  • Sale or purchase of positions in church or state.
This word ultimately comes from the Old French word 'barater,' to cheat.
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