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Posts Tagged ‘West VIrginia’

Climate Change Is Impacting West Virginia…but Will Our Students Learn about It?

UPDATE (Jan. 14, 2:40 p.m.): The West Virginia state school board has decided to reinstate the original language of the Next Gen science standards and repost the proposed standards for a 30-day public comment period.

Much has been written about last week’s kerfuffle involving the West Virginia State Board of Education and its decision to alter science standards relating to climate change. Ironically, as the state plans to weaken its science standards to blur what’s known about climate science, a West Virginia group is releasing a report today focusing on the impacts of climate change on the Mountain State. Read More

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The Economic Impacts of Future Coal Production in West Virginia

Last month colleagues and I published a paper in the journal Environmental Research Letters, focusing on the economic impacts of future coal production on West Virginia. Using scenarios for projected coal production published by the Energy Information Administration in its Annual Energy Outlook, we set out to understand how these projections might impact the economy of West Virginia, the second largest coal-producing state in the United States. Read More

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West Virginia’s Chemical Spill: The Cost of Coal Isn’t Cheap

My parents live only a couple miles upstream of the site of last month’s West Virginia chemical spill. Like many other local residents, they continue to drink bottled water amid ongoing confusion and uncertainty about the safety of the area’s water supply. Some people in the region have even resorted to melting snow to bathe their kids. Read More

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Alabama Scientists Drive 900 Miles to Fill Information Gaps in West Virginia Water Crisis

In the early morning hours of January 16th, environmental engineering assistant professor Andrew Whelton and his research team left their University of South Alabama laboratory and drove 873 miles north. The team of researchers, including graduate students Matt Connell, Jeff Gill, Keven Kelly, and LaKia McMillan and environmental engineering professor Kevin White carried with them a van full of equipment to test drinking water for West Virginia residents affected by the January 9 chemical spill. Read More

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West Virginia Scientists to EPA, CDC: Allow Your Scientists to Speak

UPDATE: See responses below from CDC and EPA officials.

This morning, two dozen West Virginia scientists wrote to the CDC and EPA to urge the two agencies to give more freedom to their scientists to communicate with the press and public, especially during emergencies like the ongoing water contamination crisis affecting hundreds of thousands of West Virginians. Read More

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Is the Water Safe? The West Virginia Chemical Spill and the Importance of Scientists’ Speaking to the Media

When news broke last week that West Virginia’s Elk River had been contaminated with the coal-processing chemical 4-methylcyclohexane methanol (MCHM), attention quickly turned to the scientists who could help the public understand what was at stake. With the spill just upstream of a treatment plant supplying water to 300,000 West Virginians, the questions were pressing: What was known about MCHM? Is my health and that of my family and pets at risk? Should I worry about the odor? These questions and many more arose from citizens, reporters, and decision makers. But as the event unfolded, we saw that scientists weren’t always given a chance to answer them. Read More

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The Hidden Costs of “Cheap” Electricity in West Virginia

Today, residents of nine West Virginia counties—including my parents—are without water because of a spill from a chemical storage container near a water treatment plant on the Elk River in Charleston. The spill affected some 200,000 people, who were advised to avoid using their tap water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, even bathing. Read More

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Beyond Coal and Natural Gas: What’s the Way Forward for West Virginia?

Last evening West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin gave his annual State of the State address (transcript) to a joint session of the state legislature. His focus on investing in the future of the Mountain State was very encouraging, but he missed an opportunity to go further. Read More

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West Virginia Looks to the Future

What does a clean energy future look like in Coal Country, and what options exist for diversifying the economy? West Virginia leaders gathered back in September to discuss just these questions, and UCS has just released a new report summarizing their conversations. Read More

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Surprisingly, West Virginians Support Raising Taxes on the Coal Industry–Even in Coal Country

What a week. President Obama delivered a major speech on climate change on Tuesday, directing the Environmental Protection Agency to carry out its obligations under existing law and limit carbon emissions from both new and existing power plants.

As a scientist studying climate change, I’m excited by the President’s leadership. He articulated the reality of the problem that we face, and why it’s so important that we act today to prepare for climate change that’s already locked in and protect future generations by cutting emissions. Read More

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