Although the effects of burning coal and coal excavation is dangerous and harmful for the environment, modern coal mining companies are taking extreme measures to use safe measures, both for the miners as well as the environment.

Many Americans, especially the ones that live in the chilly Mid-Western states, are thankful for coal mining companies for producing a source of fuel with lots of inexpensive energy to keep their families warm and jobs to keep food on their tables. Since lower-income households are struggling to pay for energy costs, the demand for energy and jobs today has found an abundant resource in coal. Coal mining companies are quick to state that coal is an abundant and affordable energy resource that provides nearly half of the electricity Americans depend upon each and every day. And so, with rising energy needs, the demand for coal, an inexpensive and reliable source of energy, is rising as well.

The most abundant fossil fuel produced in the United States, coal, is a non-renewable energy source because it takes millions of years to create. West Virginia, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania are where the largest deposits of this fuel reside. And just to stay abreast of some of the reported effects of coal, some folks might want to know that heavy metal toxins and carcinogens released during processing pollute water and food sources and are linked to long-term health problems for miners. And beyond that, the harm from coal is potentially much vaster, from global warming to environmental harm in the Appalachia. As a response, coal mining companies have recently started researching and slowly implementing cleaner burning technology. This adoption of pollution-cutting technology, in turn effectively allows them to use previously unusable coal with higher sulphur content. And while renewables will eventually play a bigger role in the energy sphere, there are still only a handful of clean energy producers that would match the scale of a single coal-fired power plant.

Though there is no denying the environmental benefits would result from phasing out our reliance on the black stuff, it’s not in the cards quite yet. In time, America eventually might be able to reap the economic benefits of the wind, solar, natural gas, and geothermal industries. But no matter how you cut it, coal mining companies aren’t going away, and the demand for coal is only going to increase in the short run. Though it may seem harsh, reality demands that we keep relying on coal mining companies so people will not freeze during the winter. For now American people will continue to enjoy the benefits of affordable, reliable electricity, which has always been important to our nation.

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