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Mountain News & World Report: Remembering the Miners of Upper Big Branch; Davitt McAteer on Whether Such a Disaster Could Happen Again; a Report from Growing Appalachia

Mountain News & World Report: Remembering the Miners of Upper Big Branch; Davitt McAteer on Whether Such a Disaster Could Happen Again; a Report from Growing Appalachia

In this edition of WMMT’s Mountain News & World Report, we commemorate the 5th anniversary of the Upper Big Branch disaster, when 29 coal miners were killed in a methane explosion at Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch Mine in April of 2010.  We start the show with a special audio remembrance of each miner, using biographical information from the Governor’s Independent Investigation into the disaster.

Then, we hear from the man who headed that investigation 5 years ago, J. Davitt McAteer, who was also head of the Mine Safety & Health Administration during the Clinton years.  McAteer recently published an op-ed in the Charleston Gazette warning that not enough has changed in American coal mines to keep another disaster like Upper Big Branch from happening again, and he spoke to WMMT by telephone.  (You can read his op-ed here, or his team’s full report on the disaster here).

Finally, we close the show in a more hopeful vein, with a report from the recent Growing Appalachia conference that brought together a wide range of folks from across southeast Kentucky for a series of workshops & conversations around small-scale farming here in the mountains, energy efficiency, renewables, and more.  You can find out more about the conference here.

Mountain News & World Report is a bi-weekly production of WMMT, and new episodes air every other Thursday at 6pm on WMMT, with a repeat broadcast the following Sunday morning at 10:30.  To listen to previous episodes, check out our streaming archives.

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