Energy & Enviorment

Roxy Todd/ WVPB

When you think of some of West Virginia’s biggest economic drivers, extractive industries like coal or natural gas are likely the first things that often come to mind. But agriculture has been a fixture in West Virginia’s economy for hundreds of years. Yet today, farmers struggle to keep their business afloat. Take apple farming, for example. West Virginia has been producing apples since the late 1800s, even exporting them out of state. Now, as the cider industry expands, there’s an increasing demand for local apples. And some people think this is one economic development opportunity the state is overlooking. 


Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Resourceful. Self-reliant. These are some of the values many people who live in the mountains pride themselves on. But could we sustain ourselves?

Brittany Patterson/ WVPB

Adding plants and trees to the landscape could reduce air pollution by an average of 27 percent, according to a new study. Specialists in environmental science, engineering and geography spent three years analyzing thousands of counties across the country. They found that adding more plants is cheaper than most technologies at reducing air pollution. One of the lead researchers is an engineering professor at Ohio State University named Bhavik Bakshi.


Roxy Todd/ WVPB

A new study finds that planting trees to reduce air pollution is cheaper than investing in most emissions reducing technologies. 


Adobe Stock

An electrician was killed at a mine in Kanawha County early Tuesday morning. The incident marks the second electrician killed this summer at a mine operated by Blackhawk mining.

A man on the train tracks. Near the scene of the miners' protest in Harlan Co., KY.
CURREN SHELDON

This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ll look at how our history is intertwined with our future. We’ll hear from coal miners and children about how they are reshaping Appalachia, while remembering the past. Also in this episode, we’ll hear from a woman who found recovery, and a job, after struggling with drug addiction for more than two decades.

And we’ll hear from some of the miners in Harlan County, Kentucky who are protesting their employer, coal operator Blackjewel LLC. We’ll talk about what the protest says about the state of organized labor in the mines.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This Labor Day, members of the United Mine Workers of America marched eleven miles from the town of Marmet in West Virginia to Racine. As Emily Allen reports, the route traces part of a much longer journey miners made almost a century ago. 


Some of the crew aboard a tow boat operated by Amherst Madison in W.Va.
Eric Douglas/ WVPB

A decline in coal production over the past decade affected more than just coal miners. It also impacted the riverboat industry. Amherst Madison is a riverboat company based outside Charleston, West Virginia. For decades, the company has made most of their money towing coal barges. But a downturn in coal meant the company had to look for other ways to stay afloat. 

West Virginia Public Broadcasting spent some time with these folks inside the river industry, and we asked them what the future of the industry looks like.

Captain Marvin Wooten pushes five loads of coal along the Kanawha River. He has worked for Amherst Madison since 1979.
Eric Douglas/ WVPB

In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’re looking at how water shapes us ⁠— and how we’re impacting our waterways. Our rivers are a vital part of our identity as Appalachians. We depend them for survival, recreation and transportation. And we depend on rivers for economic reasons, too. 

 

The handful of riverboat companies that still operate in Appalachia have primarily made the majority of their money towing coal barges. But a downturn in coal production meant many of these companies had to look to other ways to stay afloat.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Farmers got more troubling news Friday when China announced another $75 billion in retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods, including many agriculture exports. 

Many Ohio Valley farmers expect this month to receive a part of the $16 billion in federal payments to those hurt by the trade war. The Ohio Valley ReSource’s Liam Niemeyer reports, some regional farmers are growing weary of the continuing financial squeeze from the trade war. While most farmers are sticking with President Trump, some are questioning their support.


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, our most recent Wild, Wondering West Virginia question came from Wheeling resident Brian Joseph. He wanted to know about the Appalachian Mountains and their sister mountains, and how they shape who we are.

“Sometimes we forget. We think we are who we are, but remember even our state motto: Montani Sempre Liberi -- which is, Mountaineers will always be free,” he said.

Catherine Jozwik, president of the Eastern Panhandle Green Coalition, speaks at a press conference outside the attorney general's office on Wednesday, June 19, before several residents and concerned West Virginians handed the governor's office a petition
Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Residents from Jefferson County gathered at the West Virginia Capitol Wednesday to give Gov. Jim Justice a petition regarding a stone wool insulation plant they’ve spent the last year protesting.