Herman Cain Responds to Allegations, Utility Companies React to EPA’s New Limits on Mercury from Coal: Today on Here and Now

1:06pm: GOP presidential contender Herman Cain plans to hold a news conference in Phoenix later today to “set the record straight” about allegations of sexual harassment. Cain steadfastly denies that he ever harassed anyone. On Monday, Sharon Bialek became the fourth woman to accuse Cain of harassment, saying he made an inappropriate sexual advance toward her in 1997 while the two were in a car. At the time, she was out of work and seeking his help in finding a job. So what constitutes sexual harassment and how are these cases generally handled? We hear from an employment lawyer, who handles cases of sexual harassment.

1:12pm: While Cain denies all allegations of sexual harassment, he has also mentioned his sense of humor when addressing questions about the recent claims. Last week, Cain told the Wall Street Journal, “I do have a sense of humor, and some people have a problem with that.” Cain has also said he does not make inappropriate comments to employees, but when is taking a joke too far? Katrina Campbell of Global Compliance works with companies to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. She says that people often get in trouble for making jokes that aren’t appropriate in the workplace. Campbell says while some people accused of sexual harassment are making a power player, others are just oblivious to the impact of their actions.

1:25pm: Half of the airborne mercury pollution in the US comes from coal-fired power plants. After years of study and debate, the Environmental Protection Agency is planning to announce new limits on mercury from coal plants in November. Meanwhile, utilities are scrambling to meet other new federal regulations and industry groups are asking the government to slow down. This is the second of a four-part series, Coal at the Crossroads. You can hear it all week on Here and Now.

Kentucky Trade Delegation Returns From China

In recent years, China has surpassed the United States in how much coal it burns for electricity. But China is also investing a lot of money in technology to burn the coal more cleanly. That’s the conclusions from a Kentucky trade delegation that just returned from a 10-day trip to Shanghai, Beijing and Inner Mongolia. […]

Louisville Coal Ash Pond Reclassified as ‘High Hazard’

The federal government has reclassified eleven coal ash ponds around the country as “high hazard.” A coal ash pond at Louisville Gas and Electric’s Mill Creek Power Station is one that changed classification. The Environmental Protection Agency rates a coal ash pond—used on site to store coal combustion byproducts—as ‘high hazard’ if it’s in an […]

Men Trapped in Ohio County Mine Accident Worked for Company With Previous Violations

The two men trapped under rubble at an Ohio County surface mine have been identified as blasters at a company called MEMSCO, which also does business as the Mine Equipment and Mill Supply Company. MEMSCO has an office in Dawson Spring, Kentucky, but is owned by Midland Powder Company in Evansville, Indiana. According to federal […]

Two Men Trapped at Ohio County Surface Mine

Two men are trapped in their vehicle on an Ohio County surface coal mine site. The accident happened early this morning when a mine highwall caved in, burying the one-ton flatbed truck in rubble and trapping the men inside. Ohio County Sheriff David Thompson is leading the rescue operation from the scene. “Basically we’re having […]

Inspectors Continue to Discover Problems at Harlan County Mine

The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration has cited three Kentucky coal mines for safety violations. They were among 20 nationwide with a history of compliance problems targeted in MSHA’s special impact inspections. The mines cited were Vision Coal’s Mine #2 in Letcher County, and two Harlan County mines: D&C Mining Corporation’s mine and Linsco […]

Union Report on Upper Big Branch Explosion Faults Massey Energy, Suggests Evidence Tampering

The United Mine Workers union has released its own report into last year’s deadly explosion at West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch Mine. The report is highly critical of the way non-union Massey Energy handled the disaster. The explosion killed 29 workers, and the title of the report instantly gives a sense of how the United […]

Federal Government Predicts Decline in Coal-Generated Electricity in 2011, 2012

The federal government is predicting that the country’s appetite for coal will have decreased further by the end of the year. The Energy Information Administration expects coal will generate nearly 2 percent less of the nation’s electricity than it did last year, and the amount of electricity generated from coal could decline an additional four […]

MSHA ‘Potential Pattern of Violations Status’ Contrary to What Law Intended, Attorney Says

A Kentucky coal mine is now under extra scrutiny after it became the fourth to be recently placed on a ‘potential pattern of violations’ status by the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration. If the mine operator doesn’t rectify the problems, the mine can be shut down when serious violations are discovered. But this process […]