For more than a century, coal companies here in Virginia have been transforming wooded hillsides -- strip mining more than a million acres of land in Central Appalachia.
They're required to restore those sites, but environmentalists aren't always happy with the results, and area residents find no economic use for the land. Now, however, there's something new happening on old mining sites.
There’s a new controversy brewing - one that could mean trouble for Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. It involves a lawsuit on behalf of landowners in Southwestern Virginia.
They claim two energy companies failed to pay them royalties on methane gas wells. One of those firms has given $100,000 to Cuccinelli’s campaign - and now a judge in the case says she’s shocked by e-mails from the attorney general’s office to those energy companies. Sandy Hausman reports on the history of the case.
People who oppose the proposed “coal fields expressway” are staging a protest in Abingdon Virginia, where coal company, Alpha Natural Resources is holding its annual meeting Wednesday, May 22.
The protestors say they’ll call attention to the company’s role in what’s known as the Coalfields Expressway. A proposed 50 mile road, supporters say will improve transportation in far southwest Virginia and help the local economy.