Front Porch Blog

Dirty Work: Life and death in Appalachia’s coal country

Last month Reader’s Digest published “Dirty Work,” a follow-up on the dangers that still exist for West Virginia coal miners even after the deaths of twelve men in a mine explosion in Sago, West Virginia last year. The article exposes mountaintop removal as a cheap and easy way for the coal industry to access coal quickly and without as many laborers.

June 2007

Coal runs through Appalachian West Virginia in grimy seams that slice through every family, across generations. Men stand next to their pickups pumping gas, the fluorescent stripes on their pant legs identifying them as miners. Barely 150 feet from an elementary school, the coal gets a chemical bath before it’s loaded onto open railcars that snake through the hollows to plants across the country. Half of the nation’s electric power comes from coal.

To read the full article click here.





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