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Us & Them: Three Tales of Coal

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Miners at Kaymoor Mines, West Virginia. Photo: West Virginia State Archives

For decades, coal was king in West Virginia. It paid good wages, paid the bills for many local services through taxes, and kept small towns alive. But more of our nation’s electricity is starting to come from other sources like wind and solar power. Coal is losing out.

This Us & Them episode brings us three tales of coal and its future in Appalachia. Two of those tales come from men who grew up in the same neighborhood in Charleston, WV and now hold very different perspectives. Andrew Jordan owns mines. Joe Lovett is an environmental lawyer. Our third tale comes from journalist Ken Ward, who has covered the coal industry for decades. He says West Virginia needs to look at another energy player – natural gas – to determine its future.

Us & Them is a joint project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, PRX and Trey Kay Productions. You can subscribe to Us & Them on Apple PodcastsNPR OneRadioPublicSpotifyStitcher and beyond. 

This article was originally published by West Virginia Public Broadcasting.