Articles on Coal mining

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Coal miner Scottie Stinson, left, talks with foreman Scott Tiller outside a mine in Welch, W.Va., on May 12, 2016, as he prepares to enter a mine 40 inches high. David Goldman/AP Photo

The struggle for coal miners’ health care and pension benefits continues

As coal companies look for ways to cut costs, many are reneging on their promises for health care for retired miners. Unless Congress intervenes, these miners could face ill health and poverty.
A favourite argument of coal proponents is the idea that if their mine is knocked back, someone else will simply dig up coal elsewhere. Mister Mackenzie/Wikimedia Commons

Landmark Rocky Hill ruling could pave the way for more courts to choose climate over coal

A NSW court's decision to rule out a coalmine on the basis of climate change could signal a turning of the tide in an arena where environmental litigants have previously struggled to gain traction.
The number of coal mining jobs has gone up slightly, but many times less than solar-related ones. AP Photo/Dake Kang

An alternative to propping up coal power plants: Retrain workers for solar

The Trump administration's Affordable Clean Energy Plan would help the declining coal industry, but a study shows many coal workers could transition to a new industry – solar – and earn more money.
Coal miner Scott Tiller works next to a drill in an underground coal mine roughly 40 inches high in Welch, West Virginia. AP Photo/David Goldman

Black lung disease on the rise: 5 questions answered

A recent study found the largest cluster of advanced black lung disease ever recorded among coal miners in central Appalachia. Two doctors who treat black lung patients explain how miners contract it.
TVA Kingston Fossil Plant in Tennessee, site of a 1.1 billion gallon spill of coal ash slurry in 2008, photographed on March 28, 2012. Appalachian Voices

Trump’s policies will harm coal-dependent communities instead of helping them

Rural development experts say the best way to help coal communities by is investing in people, infrastructure and a clean environment. Instead, President Trump's budget cuts programs in these areas.
Trump promises to revive the coal industry in part by opening up mining on federal lands, yet economists found that increasing royalties on public land would lead to more mining elsewhere, including Northern Appalachia and the Illinois Basin. AP Photo/Steve Helber

Will Trump negotiate a better coal deal for taxpayers?

One of Trump's first orders of business on energy will likely be to reopen federal lands to coal mining, which would be a bad deal for taxpayers and the environment.

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