Even though the salaries for coal miners aren’t extremely high (though they are significantly higher for those working underground) it is likely that the pay is what is motivating many of the workers (especially less skilled workers) to take jobs in the coal mining industry. Another key factor is likely the lack of availability of other types of jobs in the local area. Of course people who work in the coal industry likely consider the effect that that work will have on their own future (health) if not for the planet’s future.
Some coal workers may be concerned about the future but have experience in the mining industry or have a lack of other opportunities, which could keep them form changing careers. Other coal workers may be just concerned with a paycheck, just like everyone else their views about the environment differs from one person to the next. Some things that coal workers might be considering are; the U.S. demand for coal in 2008 was 1.12 billion tons, U.S. known coal reserves will last for the next 235 years, coal is found in 38 U.S. states, and the U.S. coal mining industry directly employs 134,000 people.
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