As much as the coal industry likes to make themselves appear to be the saviors of coal miners and communities, many of us know the truth and can speak to it. Sadly, there are a lot of miners and their families who underestimate the power of their stories.

The fact of the matter is, the more voices we have, the more we can shed light on the truth, and the better our chances at bringing the change we need—especially for our children. It’s as simple as that.

This page is a space for people to lend their stories, beliefs, and understandings about how the industry has shown its ugly sides.  Feel free to post in the comment section below. If you fear retribution from the coal companies, feel free to come up with a different name and e-mail address.


  1. Apart but the same in may ways, the military person and the coal miner have been type cast by the political machine and the press and greater society have run with that. Never a miner myself I write from the perspective of a former soldier who enlisted to fight in Afghanistan after graduating college. From what I’ve read, and seen and heard I think we share a common affliction of being glorified for our physical and mental burdens and caricatured as a sort of archetypal ‘good American’, a mythological and homogenous species with a very defined set of beliefs and behaviors. This is a disservice to the real men and women who occupy these jobs and are in fact a complex and varied population. The Coal Industry like the Military Industrial complex have used this character well for their benefit. I see coal miners paraded on TV at the White House, ostensibly to build the logic that a good hard working people employed by coal, then what is good coal is good for them, don’t we want to see these people do well by extension of their industry? I don’t mean to say those people might not love their jobs, but perhaps it is more a factor of what they know and where they were born and the industry holds a place in their lives that would be occupied by another under different circumstances.

    Its clever advertising that makes effective use of tribalism and patriotism to sell a story. I think we need to flip the narrative from what is good for the industry is good for the people, to what is good for the people is good for the people and if that is industry then so be it, but it might not be.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi, I just read about this blog through a CNN Politics feature on Anthony Bourdain. I hope to see more from you on the centuries’ old exploitation of my beloved home. I became fully aware of the systemic effort to manipulate the native Appalachian while a student at UK in the 70s, with Harry Caudill as my History of Appalachia instructor. Most of my fellow classmates in the 20-some size class were, as I, residents of hollers and coalcamps established by outsiders to drain the land and its people of its wealth and value. My original name is also Mullins. I would enjoy communicating with you and joining in an effort to bring the Appalachia that I love and mourn to view. Thank you for voicing what is necessary to speak. Ellen Mullins (Caudill Tenney).


  3. Hi nick don’t sue me least year I did agumntive paper and sited the video like what your doing I was the only one in my grade to do a paper on coal mining strongly disapproved of coal mineing


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