Illinois fracking bill watched closely in Missouri - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Illinois fracking bill watched closely in Missouri

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    Woman suffers minor injuries after car rolls on I-77 in Raleigh County

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:13 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:13:55 GMT
    Car rolled multiple times on I-77 North in Raleigh County.Car rolled multiple times on I-77 North in Raleigh County.
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    In Raleigh County, a woman is miraculously not seriously injured, after her car rolls over on I-77 around 6:30 Wednesday night.An eyewitness tells us the woman was driving in the left lane on the northbound side. She suddenly veered off the road, over corrected,then slammed into the side of a tractor trailer. The car rolled multiple times before coming to a stop on it's roof.The witness says two small dogs ran out of the car. Moments later, the woman crawled out and ran after one of the dogs....
  • EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Woman struck by car on Robert C. Byrd Drive

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    Friday, August 1 2014 7:54 PM EDT2014-08-01 23:54:05 GMT
    A woman was struck by a car in front of Family Coin Laundry on Robert C. Byrd Drive in Beckley Thursday night.This is surveillance video given to us by the business owners. She was not walking on a designated crosswalk. So who is at fault?
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  • Alpha Natural Resources may idle eight mines in the state of West Virginia

    Alpha Natural Resources may idle eight mines in the state of West Virginia

    Friday, August 1 2014 3:58 PM EDT2014-08-01 19:58:48 GMT
    Alpha Natural Resources might lay off over 1,000 minersAlpha Natural Resources might lay off over 1,000 miners
    Just days after coal miners rally in Pittsburgh over new rules on EPA emissions another problem arises for the coal industry.Alpha Natural Resources says because of a weak market and government regulations mine sites might have to be shut down.Eight Alpha affiliated surface mines in West Virginia are expected to be shutdown by mid October. Three of the eight mines are right here in Southern West Virginia.One of the mines that could be idled is the Pioneer Fuel's Ewing Fork number 1 Surface Mi...
    Just days after coal miners rally in Pittsburgh over new rules on EPA emissions another problem arises for the coal industry.Alpha Natural Resources says because of a weak market and government regulations mine sites might have to be shut down.Eight Alpha affiliated surface mines in West Virginia are expected to be shutdown by mid October. Three of the eight mines are right here in Southern West Virginia.One of the mines that could be idled is the Pioneer Fuel's Ewing Fork number 1 Surface Mi...

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — Illinois residents aren't the only people closely watching a hydraulic fracturing bill under consideration in Springfield, Ill. Missouri mining organizations have a keen interest, too.

The Southeast Missourian reported Sunday that the Missouri mining industry stands to gain from an increased need for silica sand, which is critical in hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.

Illinois HB2615 would create the Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act. Passage would subject fracking in Illinois to some of the nation's strictest regulations. Drilling companies have held off on the process until they have known what regulations they would face. Fracking is banned in several states, but supporters say the process helps drive prices down by allowing drilling in unconventional areas.

Fracking has been used in vertical mining operations in Illinois since 1947, said Bob Bauer of the Illinois State Geological Survey. Energy companies are buying leases in southeastern Illinois, but he said they are based on speculation. There is no absolute proof the state will yield significant oil or gas resources, he said.

Missouri is not an abundant resource of oil or natural gas, but it is a resource for silica sand. That is creating concern among Missouri environmentalists.

"As fracking expands, there will be increasing pressure to mine sand here in Missouri," John Hickey, director of the Missouri chapter of the Sierra Club. "Due to the extremely high volume of sand used in fracking, there is a danger that expanded sand mining here will cause environmental damage."

Several silica sand operations already exist in Missouri. Texas-based FTS International operates a mine in Perryville, north of Cape Girardeau. Other mines are on the outskirts of the St. Louis area: Mississippi Sand LLC, based in suburban St. Louis, produces silica sand in a mine near Festus, Mo. Connecticut's Unimin Corp. has a silica sand operation in Pevely, Mo. And U.S. Silica Holdings Inc., of Maryland, has a mine in Pacific, Mo.

The January 2013 Mineral Commodity Summary by the U.S. Geological Survey says Missouri is the sixth-largest producer of industrial sand and gravel, and the price is rising quickly. The average ton cost $44.78 in 2012, up from $30.82 just four years earlier.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press