Author: Benny Becker

Black Lung Benefits Fund in Deepening Debt as Epidemic Surges

A new study from the Government Accountability Office finds that the federal fund supporting coal miners with black lung disease could be in financial trouble without Congressional action. As NPR has reported, the GAO found that the fund’s debt could rise dramatically at the same time that black lung disease is surging. Most federal […]

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Amid Black Lung Surge, Kentucky Changes Benefits Process for Miners

William McCool is a 64-year-old former coal miner from Letcher County, Kentucky, with an advanced form of black lung disease. Health experts say the condition is entirely preventable with dust control measures in mines. But today, more miners in Appalachia are being diagnosed with severe black lung than ever before. “I’ve worked […]

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Changing Course: Coal Country Students Working For A Power Switch

Arlie Boggs Elementary sits between Kentucky’s two tallest mountains in a remote area that once had a booming coal economy. Ten years ago there were over a thousand coal miners employed here in Letcher county. Today, there are just 28. “We were left with many unemployed miners,” eighth-grader Nicholas Sturgill […]

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