People living near a pair of Virginia mountaintop removal coal mines have long complained about blasting and dust. Now, the company’s bankruptcy makes it even harder for nearby residents to get relief.
Despite significant grassroots pressure, an excise tax that pays into a healthcare and disability fund for miners with black lung was slashed in half. The lack of action by Congress amounts to a tax break for coal companies while putting benefits for former miners and their families at risk.
The deadly disease is on the rise, but funding for healthcare will be halved unless Congress acts this year.