What coal coun­try needs

Baltimore Sun - - MARYLAND VOICES - Ed Gold­berg, Reis­ter­stown

Sim­ple fair­ness de­mands that the na­tion ad­dress the eco­nomic plight of coal coun­try with a fo­cus on min­ing fam­i­lies. Min­ers risk their lives and health ev­ery time they go un­der­ground. The prod­uct of their work has pow­ered our na­tion for gen­er­a­tions. As we tran­si­tion away from coal as a power source, we owe th­ese peo­ple eco­nomic jus­tice. It ought to be a na­tional leg­isla­tive pri­or­ity (“About that clean coal busi­ness…,” Oct. 11).

We should de­clare a war on coal re­gion poverty, in­vest in re­search and new tech­nolo­gies to make en­vi­ron­men­tally sound use of coal as a re­source, guar­an­tee health in­sur­ance for min­ers and their fam­i­lies and up­lift th­ese ar­eas by build­ing new-en­ergy re­search labs and fac­to­ries in coal-min­ing re­gions.

His­tory shows that public in­vest­ment such as this will be re­paid in full and, more im­por­tantly, pro­vide hope and bet­ter liv­ing con­di­tions for gen­er­a­tions to come.

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