In New Video, Local Voices From Coal Communities Highlight Human Costs of Relentless Coal Mining, Need for Real Economic Diversification

Washington, D.C. – A new video from the House Natural Resources Committee majority, based on multiple interviews with coal country leaders and spokespeople, highlights the high economic and human health toll of coal mining and the lack of economic diversification that has resulted from an overreliance on industry promises. The video, available at http://bit.ly/2LiarPq, tracks the stories of West Virginia and Kentucky coal communities that face below average life expectancies, entrenched poverty, and a lack of economic prospects despite years of coal company guarantees that they represented the best hope for the region.

“We should have clean air and clean water and healthy lives, but as long as they keep destroying everything that we need to survive, they’re just going to keep killing us,” says Dustin White, an eleventh-generation West Virginia native, who points out white men in southern West Virginia have a life expectancy of just 65 years.

Carl Shoupe of Kentucky and Donna Branham of West Virginia both speak to the industry’s broken promises of economic revitalization and the health impacts of relying too heavily on such a polluting industry. 

The Natural Resources Committee is holding a hearing today on how to reform the federal coal leasing program. You can watch that hearing live at https://t.co/nDDsPQYCgK.

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