Coal country has options. But a long legacy of hope, promises and failure has instilled a political inertia that won’t soon be overcome.
Coal and petroleum service sectors look to reclamation, renewables and manufacturing as communities contemplate how to survive a post-extraction economy.
Lax fiscal policy has left states flat-footed as mining declines. So what happens when coal goes away with no promise to return?
Coal’s decline has forced staunchly anti-Obamacare politicians to reconsider Medicaid expansion, while rural communities depend on tele-health more than ever.
The COVID-19 pandemic has hammered healthcare systems in rural populations already struggling with the loss of coal jobs and health coverage.