Coal mining is a dangerous occupation, and it’s safe to say that many go into or stay in this industry because they have little choice. Though underground mines are the most dangerous to workers, even those working at above-ground strip mines are exposed to dangerous coal ash and other substances. What’s important to realize is that, although the economies of many parts of the country are heavily dependent on this industry today, this simply means we have to create the infrastructure that will offer coal miners better, safer employment that does less harm to the environment. For instance, many of the same areas where coal mines are located today would also make good sites for major wind energy development. In building a green economy, we must offer the workers from the old economy somewhere to go once the fossil fuel industries become less important.
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