State leaders say a nearly $1 billion project to update pollution controls at a massive Louisville power plant will be a boost for Kentucky's coal industry. The upgrades at LG&E's Mill Creek Generating Station in southwestern Jefferson County are expected to add about 700 construction jobs. They will also allow the 1,400-megawatt plant to continue to burn coal by meeting stricter federal air regulations that go in force in 2016.
The first shipment in a huge deal to export coal to India hasn’t yet left Appalachia. The deal was announced in August: Kentucky-based Booth Energy agreed to send up to nine million tons of coal a year to India for 25 years, at an estimated value of $7 billion. The first shipment was supposed to be on its way by the end of September.
The Sierra Club along with environmental groups in Kentucky and West Virginia are attempting to block permitting at two mountaintop surface mines, alleging in federal lawsuits that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did not consider potential health impacts on residents.
Coal miners are continuing to be the subjects of TV political ads in a Lexington-based congressional district that has no mines. Republican challenger Andy Barr went up Wednesday with another such ad in which miners, their faces covered in coal dust, criticize 6th District Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler.
Last week the state of Kentucky announced that India would purchase large quantities of coal from companies in the Commonwealth in the future. This week, some lawmakers in India are raising questions about the procedure used to sell coal fields in that country. Angry opposition lawmakers have shouted and crowded aisles in India's parliament to demand the prime minister resign.