One reason President Trump gave for signing his order to dismantle climate policies was "to cancel job-killing regulations." But in places like coal country, environmental regulations are creating jobs, too.

The path of the Ohio River snakes southwest out of Pittsburgh and forms the border between Ohio and West Virginia. Here, the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains rise along its banks, and beneath that Appalachian soil lie the natural resources that have sustained the valley's economy: coal — and now, natural gas.

To people far away, who consume goods made with energy fueled by the Ohio Valley, coal and gas may be harmful agents of global warming.

But to people in Ohio coal country, a good life on the ground is paid for by what's underneath it.

Without congressional intervention, about 16,000 retired miners in seven states will lose their health care coverage by the end of the year.

A proposal to temporarily extend the benefits is working its way through Congress. But two Senate Democrats, who are advocates for a more comprehensive plan, say the temporary provision isn't enough.

They are threatening to hold up a spending bill that needs to pass by Friday night to keep the government running.


In another sign of a struggling coal industry, one of Ohio’s major utilities is shutting down or selling five more coal units by 2020.

The Energy Collective

Regulators have approved a pair of deals that allow FirstEnergy and AEP to impose short-term rate increases on electricity customers in Ohio to subsidize some older coal-fired and nuclear power plants.

Obama's Clean Power Plan and Ohio

Aug 12, 2015
Wikimedia Commons

The Obama administration recently released it's Clean Power Plan. It calls for a 32 percent cut in overall carbon dioxide emissions by 2030. Ohio will have to cut it's emissions by 28 percent to stay on target. While the plan is hailed by environmentalists, Ohio manufacturers and energy companies say the plan will only bring higher energy costs.  

How Would Carbon Reduction Plan Affect Ohio?

Aug 4, 2015

The White House has come out with a sweeping strategy to limit climate change. The so-called Clean Power Plan requires every state to play a role in cutting carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. So how would the plan affect Ohio?


A new study says Ohio consumers could save several hundred dollars on their electric bills if stricter clean air standards are implemented by the Environmental Protection Agency.  

WOSU file photo

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio last week rejected a request from American Electric Power to have customers subsidize two coal plants. AEP said it would have helped customers in the long run, but opponents likened it to a bailout.

So what will the ruling mean for future proposals?

EPA Regulations and the Future of Coal

Jun 10, 2014

What are the economics behind the EPA's newly proposed regulations? It is estimated that one-third of the United States energy came from coal in 2012. However, coal has also been blamed for a large amount of the US's carbon emissions. Does regulating and reducing carbon emissions result in lost jobs and increased energy prices, or are the coal companies simply blowing smoke?

The Future of Coal in Ohio

Nov 26, 2013


When we’re talking about energy, it’s a fact that Ohio runs on coal. It’s where the state gets over 75% of its electricity. This hour, we’ll talk about the role of coal energy in Ohio, whether it’s changing, and what we can expect for the future.