Agitating for Change at Coal’s Ground Zero
Can they dig it? Coal in Greene County, Pennsylvania, has provided high-paying jobs for generations. Fifteen percent of its land is owned by mining companies, and the Bailey Mine Complex — America’s largest underground coal mine — supports 7,000 jobs in a county of 37,000 people. As a new president touts an industry revival, cheap natural gas and renewables are making it economically and environmentally unsustainable. So both conservationists and some forward-thinking locals are fighting a quixotic battle to prepare the ground — quite literally — for a future beyond coal.