Economic Desperation Blackens Coal Miner’s Lungs—Not Ignorance

Back lung among Appalachia’s coal miners has once again made national headlines, and in almost clock-work fashion, many self-righteous individuals took to social media channels to deplore Appalachia’s presidential voting choices. Some of the more common remarks have been, “That’s what they get,” while others attempt to benignly question the region’s intelligence with questions such... Continue Reading →

Coal Miners Are Good People

People ask me "Why do Appalachians vote against their own best interests?" Some are friends who are honestly trying to understand the situation from a point of concern. I know that they seek the cause for the discrepancy, rather than assume coal mining families are incapable of making intelligent political decisions. The question still stings... Continue Reading →

Maintenance, safety, and the drive for production

I just read an article about Daniel L. Couch Jr., a mine maintenance chief who pleaded guilty to falsifying safety documents. Before people go throwing him under the bus, it's important to understand a few things about mine maintenance, safety, and the push for production. Certified mine electricians don't just repair electrical equipment and perform... Continue Reading →

Without the Union…

I had been raised union and knew the benefits that came with it, but in its absence, I ended up joining thousands of other young men naive enough to believe we didn’t need a union.

The Modern Day Company Town

Most Appalachians raised in coal country can easily describe what a “company town” is. They are littered throughout Appalachia, rows of identically built houses with a few larger homes built on the hillsides for the shift foremen and superintendents. Company towns existed during a time in our history when the coal companies ruled our lives.... Continue Reading →

Faces of Coal

Joel Richards III L. Patrick Hassey William J. Crowley Jr. E. Linn Draper, Jr. Glenn A. Eisenberg Deborah M. Fretz P. Michael. Giftos Angelo C. Brisimitzakis Kevin Crutchfield These people make up the board of directors at Alpha Natural Resources. There images are linked from their bios. Click them to find out more about each... Continue Reading →

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