iOS app Android app

Jeff Biggers
Jeff Biggers is the American Book Award-winning author of Reckoning at Eagle Creek: The Secret Legacy of Coal in the Heartland, In the Sierra Madre, The United States of Appalachia, and State Out of the Union. His website is:

Entries by Jeff Biggers

The Urban Food Banquet: St. Paul Leads Nation in Art of Food Justice

(2) Comments | Posted September 15, 2014 | 11:57 AM

They began arriving hours in advance. Over 400 volunteers--farmers, cooks, drivers, mobile art kitchens, dance choreographers, spoken word poets, food servers, food runners, zero waste managers, and table hosts. And when the bell rang, nearly 2,000 guests followed the signs in Somali, Spanish, Hmong, and English and took their seats...

Read Post

Will HHS Sec. Burwell Be First Obama Official to Visit Appalachian Health Emergency From Mountaintop Removal?

(0) Comments | Posted September 3, 2014 | 9:38 AM

Here's a reality check: Since President Obama took office in 2009, not a single top-level official from the White House, the EPA, the Council on Environmental Quality, the Department of the Interior, or the Department of Justice has ever made a fact-finding tour of mountaintop removal mining communities...

Read Post

UPDATED: Decorated War Veteran/Resident Arrested: Peabody Coal Overruns Rocky Branch, Despite Appeal Pending: Gov. Quinn and AG Madigan on Enviro Justice, Civil Rights?

(3) Comments | Posted August 26, 2014 | 11:04 AM

Rocky Branch, Illinois. Photo courtesy of Jeff Lucas, Gutting the Heartland.

UPDATED: 10:30am CST

Rocky Branch residents are reporting that decorated Vietnam War-veteran Glenn Kellen, a Rocky Branch resident, has been arrested this morning, as he attempted to move his cross and...

Read Post

Moving Mountains Tragedy 2014: Stunning Court Denial of Appalachian Health Crisis

(6) Comments | Posted August 22, 2014 | 2:51 PM

In a breathtaking but largely overlooked ruling this week, a federal judge agreed that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers may disregard studies on the health impacts of mountaintop removal mining in its permitting process, only two weeks after Goldman Prize Award-winning activist

Read Post

Al di lá del Mare Nostrum: Il teatro italiano lancia un progetto internazionale per le storie dell'immigrazione

(0) Comments | Posted August 1, 2014 | 6:01 AM

Mentre 200 immigrati africani venivano soccorsi e arrivavano in autobus in un centro profughi a Bologna, ho incontrato la scorsa settimana, in questa città italiana del nord, Guido Ferrarini , fondatore e direttore di Teatroaperto, per discutere il lancio di un nuovo progetto di arti teatrali...

Read Post

Beyond Mare Nostrum: Italian Theater Launches International Project for Immigration Stories

(2) Comments | Posted July 30, 2014 | 2:26 PM

As 200 rescued African immigrants, including children, arrived by bus at a refugee center in Bologna, I sat down with acclaimed Teatroaperto founder/director Guido Ferrarini in this northern Italian city last week, to discuss the launch of a new international theater arts project on the unfolding...

Read Post

Gov. Jerry Brown Needs Green Wake Up Call: One Million Votes for Luis J. Rodriguez for Governor

(0) Comments | Posted June 2, 2014 | 10:11 PM

Eight decades after best-selling author Upton Sinclair upturned the political tables with his EPIC gubernatorial campaign in California to end poverty and "vested interests," best-selling author and Green Party candidate Luis J. Rodriguez is campaigning on a similar platform for environmental and social justice against Democratic...

Read Post

Solar Freakin' Roadways Electrify Clean Energy Generation (Video)

(4) Comments | Posted May 19, 2014 | 12:50 PM

As the once far-fetched idea of "solar roadways" gains a huge convoy of supporters--from the US Department of Transportation to Google to the Times of India to even Fox News -- a new video aimed at the millennial generation is set to...

Read Post

Death by a Thousand Cuts: Illinois Coal Tragedies Continue

(2) Comments | Posted May 15, 2014 | 4:00 PM

With the death toll still mounting at a coal mine in Turkey, another southern Illinois coal miner lost his life this week, along with two West Virginia miners. The state of Illinois, meanwhile -- called out at public hearings for a brewing coal ash catastrophe -- handed out...

Read Post

Rising Tide on Campuses: 7 Wash U Students Arrested Over Peabody Coal Trustee

(0) Comments | Posted May 2, 2014 | 3:29 PM

On the heels of an earlier arrest of a student at a growing divestment blockade at Harvard University, seven Washington University students were arrested today in St. Louis, as they sought to enter the quarterly meeting of the Board of Trustees.

Today's action...

Read Post

What's the Word? Wash U Sit-In Against Peabody Coal Enters Historic Third Week

(1) Comments | Posted April 24, 2014 | 7:31 AM

In an emerging public relations nightmare for Washington University officials, the sit-in against Peabody Energy ties entered a historic third week, as students continued to press demands after a faltering statement released yesterday by Chancellor Mark Wrighton.

"We want to make it clear that we are...

Read Post

Dear Mr. Peabody: No One's Loss of Life, Liberty and Health For Your Coal Profits Is Acceptable Collateral Damage

(2) Comments | Posted April 18, 2014 | 4:52 PM

Falling on the 100th anniversary of the Ludlow coal miners' massacre, a growing movement of citizens groups will gather on Saturday afternoon in St. Louis to join the great Washington University sit-in against Peabody Energy.

The pillars of Big Coal are crumbling...

Read Post

Why the Great Wash U Sit-in Against Peabody Coal Matters: Which Side Are You on?

(0) Comments | Posted April 15, 2014 | 9:57 PM

Entering its second week, the inspiring Washington University sit-in against Peabody Energy has already gone beyond its goals to cut school ties with the St. Louis-based coal giant, and forced the rest of the nation to ask themselves an urgent question in an age of climate...

Read Post

Coal Rush Kids! Illinois Votes to Keep Big Coal in Schools

(0) Comments | Posted April 8, 2014 | 10:40 AM

While coal mining families in West Virginia and across the country mourned the fourth anniversary of the tragic Upper Big Branch coal mine disaster last week, hailed by US Attorney R. Booth Goodwin II as "a conspiracy to violate mine safety and health laws," the Illinois state legislature...

Read Post

More Road Blockades of Peabody Coal's Dead End: Judy's Rock Film Chronicles Strip Mine Showdown in Southern Illinois (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted March 28, 2014 | 9:06 AM

While Peabody Energy may have hired a notorious public relations firm to hawk its international ad campaign, a village trustee and her rural farming community have exposed the devastating legacy of the world's largest coal company near its historic Illinois beginnings.

Meet Judy Kellen and...

Read Post

Illinois Residents File Intent to Sue for Federal Takeover of Rogue Coal Mining Agencies

(0) Comments | Posted March 25, 2014 | 8:33 AM

What happens when government regulators fail to uphold coal mining laws, in a state of constant violations?

No one knows better than residents in Illinois: Today marks the March 25th anniversary of the tragic Centralia, Illinois coal disaster, when government inaction on a violation-ridden coal mine led to...

Read Post

UDPATE: Road Blockade Stops Peabody Loggers: Mr. Peabody's Coal Train Ain't Haulin' Rocky Branch Away: Illinois Residents Move to Halt Violation-Ridden Strip Mine

(0) Comments | Posted March 13, 2014 | 9:02 AM

UPDATE: Rocky Branch Road Peaceful Blockade Stops Peabody
11:30 am CST

Facing off with the world's largest coal company, which literally sank its first historic mine nearby in 1895, Rocky Branch farmers, residents and supporters fighting to protect their Shawnee Hills community against a violation-ridden and potentially devastating strip...

Read Post

Breaking: Peabody Loggers Break Ground on Controversial Shawnee Hills Strip Mine -- Without Mining Permit

(1) Comments | Posted March 11, 2014 | 6:20 PM

With mounting violations and administrative errors, will Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan finally intervene in the most controversial strip mine in southern Illinois?

This question is being raised today by farmers and residents fighting to save their historic community from destruction in Saline County, as out-of-state...

Read Post

Should Sierra Club Endorse Coal Rush/Fracking Gov. Quinn -- Or Call Out Environmental Disaster?

(3) Comments | Posted February 28, 2014 | 3:08 PM

Is it enough for Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and state treasurer candidate Mike Frerichs to hustle today to purge their campaigns of tainted coal industry contributions from a growing mine safety regulator scandal, or should citizens groups and environmentalists hold the Democratic candidates accountable for their...

Read Post

Fracking Illinois: As State Falters, County Vote to Ban Fracking Gains Support -- And Media Blackout

(2) Comments | Posted February 27, 2014 | 8:18 AM

As the national media puts the spotlight on the "FrackGate" public relations scandal in Ohio, where state officials worked to "marginalize opponents of fracking by teaming up with corporations--including Halliburton--business groups and media outlets," Illinois residents behind a groundbreaking ballot initiative to ban fracking in rural Johnson County...

Read Post