Ted Boettner: Coal Miners' Struggle
New York Times - “Miners Bracing for a Future of Ever-Dwindling Demand for Coal” (front page, July 18), about the struggles of coal miners, captured a vivid picture of Appalachian coal communities suffering from the industry’s collapse. Read
We must not forget that these communities fueled our expansion westward, energized the Industrial Revolution and powered our victory in two world wars. They deserve our respect and gratitude in their time of need.
These communities have suffered from painful boom-and-bust cycles, lost friends and family from the hazards of mining, and have seen Appalachia remain one of the poorest communities in America.
While we can’t undo the past, we can build a brighter future that honors their sacrifices and hard work. That’s why Congress must act swiftly by supporting the proposed Power Plus plan, which invests in economic diversification initiatives that help retool workers for emerging opportunities, while shoring up funding for the health and retirement benefits workers have earned.
After all that they’ve given us, we mustn’t leave coal communities behind.