Black Lung: Coal’s Dirty Politics

Reminds me of my rant “Coal Creates Jobs”  and my thoughts on Energy Infrastructure


Coal pileReading and listening to the recent NPR, Center for Public Integrity, and Charleston Gazettearticles about the rise in black lung cases for coal miners saddens and angers me. Like many, I had — mistakenly, it turns out — assumed that black lung was declining, thanks to the efforts of leaders like West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

On top of that, it turns out that in recent days, Republicans in Congress (with the backing of the coal industry), have been successfully blocking mine safety measures that would help address this problem.

Ken Ward, Jr., of the Charleston Gazette has been writing about this issue for years, and recently catalogued the industry’s repeated efforts to fight safety standards that would control the mining dust that causes black lung. And now in recent days, Republicans in the House of Representatives have “inserted language in a budget bill…that would…

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Coal Creates Jobs

OK, so I was rather frustrated with the political debate over job creation/stifling by environmental regulation. So here is a brief rant describing some of the jobs created by or resulting from the coal industry.

Yes, coal creates jobs. lobbyist jobs. marketing jobs. mountain demolition jobs. mining jobs. home and town construction jobs, mine-induced healthcare jobs, secondary exposure healthcare jobs, cancer screening and clinical jobs, environmental health jobs, water quality specialist jobs, aquatic ecotoxicology jobs, remediation and restoration jobs, coal burning jobs, air quality jobs, environmental injustice placement of power plants jobs, carbon sequestration jobs, climatologist jobs, “clean coal” promotion jobs, EPA coal regulation jobs, scrubber jobs, EPA coal deregulation lobbying jobs, coal subsidy lobbying jobs, renewable energy subsidy opposing jobs, “October Sky” jobs.