Earlier this week, NPR and the Center for Public Integrity reported astonishing news: the coal miners' disease called black lung is a growing problem again. The investigative report also showed that weak regulation and industry deception has thwarted the effort to protect miners from the coal mine dust that causes black lung.
NPR's Howard Berkes joins us. Howard, thanks for being with us. first,
HOWARD BERKES, BYLINE: It's good to be with you, Scott.
This week, one of the biggest coal mining companies in Central Appalachia, Patriot Coal, filed for bankruptcy protection. Over the past three months, a wave of layoffs has hit coal country hard, and this past month, the share of all U.S. electricity generated from coal hit its lowest level since the 1940s. Our colleague Guy Raz visited Webster County in the middle of West Virginia to find out what's killing King Coal.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says the 2012 spring inshore shrimp season will close at 6 a.m. Saturday in most remaining state inside waters east of the Mississippi River. The closure is designed to protect developing white shrimp.
The open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds will remain open, but all other inside waters will be closed to shrimping.
Houma residents who live and work near the site of a proposed oilfield waste disposal well say they're upset about a court ruling that allows the project to move forward.
A judge ruled Friday that a state permit allowing Vanguard Environmental to drill the well supersedes local laws preventing such drilling within a mile of residences or businesses. State law only requires the well to be 500 feet away.
Terrebonne Parish officials said they plan to appeal the decision.
GEISMAR — A Houston-based chemical company contends it should not be penalized for a March plant fire at its vinyl chloride complex here because an unexpected and unprecedented chemical chain reaction touched off the fire.
BATON ROUGE — The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says the 2012 spring inshore shrimp season will close July 9 in some areas to protect developing shrimp. The announcement applies to portions of the Pontchartrain Basin and to all of the Mississippi River, Barataria and Mermentau River basins.