Federal report documents decline of Appalachian coal
CHARLESTON -- A new federal report confirms what Appalachia coal producers already know: Coal will remain an important energy source, but its share of U.S. power generation will fall.
West Virginia's U.S Sen. Jay Rockefeller requested the Government Accountability Office report, released this week.
Rockefeller has long urged the industry to acknowledge the need for change. He called Wednesday for investment in technologies to make coal a cleaner fuel.
The Charleston Gazette says the report lays out the many competitive challenges facing Appalachian coal, including cheap, abundant natural gas and coal from other regions.
Industry leaders have said producers may stem their losses with increased exports. But the GAO says that will depend on how competitive U.S. prices are and on the quality of coal available.
Ky. coal plant's $940M update to create 700 jobs
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A nearly $1 billion project to update pollution controls at a massive Louisville power plant was touted by state leaders Thursday as a boost for Kentucky's coal industry.
The upgrades at LG&E's Mill Creek Generating Station in southwestern Jefferson County are expected to create about 700 construction jobs. The improved sulfur dioxide scrubbers 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.
Leaders in this coal-rich state have been harshly critical of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations in the past, but on Thursday they praised the pollution control project at the plant.
Twinkies maker Hostess ready for its big bake sale
NEW YORK -- The future of Twinkies is virtually assured.
Hostess Brands Inc. got final approval for its wind-down plans in bankruptcy court Thursday, setting the stage for its iconic snack cakes to find a second life with new owners -- even as 18,000 jobs will be wiped out.
The company said in court that it's in talks with 110 potential buyers for its brands, which include CupCakes, Ding Dongs and Ho Hos. The suitors include at least five national retailers such as supermarkets, a financial adviser for Hostess said. The process has been "so fast and furious" Hostess wasn't able to make its planned calls to potential buyers, said Joshua Scherer of Perella Weinberg Partners.