coal mines en Stivers: Senate Budget To Restore Number of Mine Inspections <p>The Kentucky Senate will likely restore funding to conduct coal mine inspections in the state budget. Currently, mines get six state inspections a year.<br /><br />A previous draft of the budget cut the number to two. Senate President Robert Stivers says his chamber will likely restore funding for six inspections.&nbsp; But that doesn't mean Stivers wants to keep the amount of money exactly the same. He says the House budget didn’t address the reduction in the number of coal mines, which he argues requires fewer inspections.</p><p>“They funded it at the level that it has been without recognition of closures and loss of jobs,” said Stivers. &nbsp;“So it’ll be a function of that, looking at closure and loss of jobs and seeing what’s actually out there.”</p><p>The Senate’s budget initially reduced the number of mandatory mine inspections from six per year to just two, prompting criticism from the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, which said in a statement that further reductions in its budget would put coal miners at increased risk.<br /> Thu, 27 Mar 2014 22:14:16 +0000 Jonathan Meador 45755 at Stivers: Senate Budget To Restore Number of Mine Inspections Mine Safety Advocates Worried about Loss of Money for Inspections <p></p><p>A slash to Governor Steve Beshear’s proposal for mine safety in the Kentucky House budget bill passed this month has many safety advocates concerned. They say there might not be enough money to conduct required inspections.</p><p>Gov. Beshear has proposed $7.6 million in each of the next two years for the state program that inspects and licenses coal mines. But when the budget bill was passed by the House, Beshear’s budget office noticed the number had been reduced to $5.3 million per year.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">The Courier-Journal reports</a> the 15 percent reduction was not discussed during the budget committee meeting or floor session when the bill was passed. In response, Gov. Beshear says his administration is “very concerned about the lack of sufficient funds to ensure safety” for miners, and the House and Senate will work together to ensure the funding is there “to cover critical needs in the agency.” Tue, 25 Mar 2014 14:37:10 +0000 Samira Asad 45602 at Mine Safety Advocates Worried about Loss of Money for Inspections Kentucky Legislator's Coal Mines Under Scrutiny <div class="ody-bo-sm ody-port"><div class="ody-byline" id="ody-byline-written-by"><p>An influential Eastern Kentucky legislator owns the permits on Pike County coal mines that have been cited repeatedly by the state for safety and environmental violations.</p></div></div><div id="artpagination"><div class="c content-wrap" style="FLOAT: none"><div class="gel-content" id="__gelement_10"><div class="gel-pane gpagediv" id="GPage1"><p>Rep. Keith Hall’s Beech Creek Coal Co. and others that are mining coal on the Phelps Democrat’s permits have been cited since 2010 for dropping rocks on homes, mining outside of permitted areas, water pollution and failing to obey regulations on blasting, reclamation and maintaining slurry ponds.</p><p>Barbara Eldridge lives next to the largest of Beech Creek’s three surface mines near Phelps. A year ago, a rock slab the size of a truck tire slammed into her home, denting a wall and shattering a paved walkway.</p><p>“It’s a danger to everybody out here, I think. Every time you hear the blast, you wonder if something’s about to come down on you,” Eldridge said.</p><p>Neighbors and state records say rocks from that mine also have landed on the properties of four other neighbors, though no injuries have been reported. Mon, 10 Jun 2013 11:15:55 +0000 Associated Press 32287 at Kentucky Legislator's Coal Mines Under Scrutiny McConnell Continues to Aim Fire at EPA, with Environmental Groups Taking Aim at McConnell <p>As the Environmental Protection Agency begins its public forums on coal mining permits in Kentucky, U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell is rallying for coal to be a bigger part of the nation&#39;s energy portfolio. Tue, 05 Jun 2012 17:42:13 +0000 13549 at