Writer Silas House grew up in the hills of Eastern Kentucky. He’s described life in coal country through rich, complex characters steeped in history and tradition. He's also an activist in the fight against mountaintop removal coal mining.
There are thousands of old, problem mines—called pre-law mines—throughout Appalachia. They come with a bevy of issues—they fill up with water, cause landslides, and catch fire.
In 1970, a federal act called the Clean Air Act brought Wyoming a surge in its low-sulfur coal industry. Today, coal miners in the state wait to hear about new regulations that could make or break their local economy.
If the coal industry has started to leave Appalachia, the American West is now coal’s new home base. In America’s current capital of coal—Wyoming's Powder River Basin—the industry’s imprint on the West runs deep.
Pittsburgh’s air quality is consistently rated some of the worst in the nation, because of industry, transportation and its unique topography. But new technology called Breathe Cam is trying to give area residents a tool to monitor—and help solve—air quality problems.
Sometimes the best way to be active about the environment is to use some passive practices. Lucy De Barbaro and her husband are currently constructing a new, enery-efficient passive house in Pittsburgh.
President Obama's Clean Power Plan, to cut carbon emissions from existing power plants, relies heavily on replacing coal plants with natural gas. But natural gas comes with it’s own climate problems: methane.