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Article published November 1, 2012
Coal on way out
Miriam McCaslin Eau Claire
Coal is an energy source that has had its day. There is no such thing as clean coal. I had a strip-mining operation next to my property that operated 24/7 for years. I endured the constant beep-beep-beep as the heavy equipment operated; my house shook and vibrated as the strip miners blew up the earth. My water smelled like sulphur for years. I was told I was too far away for the strip miners to worry about my water, which has cleared up since they ended blasting. They even trespassed on my property with a large bulldozer and drilled core holes. I am surrounded by slag piles, strip cuts and high walls left from previous stripping operations years ago. Dump trucks that haul coal out pollute and also damage the roads. Then we pollute when coal is burned. We then haul away the waste; that involves more truck traffic. I once had a job running an elevator. How many elevators are run by a person anymore? Just because someone’s grandfather was a coal miner does not mean that a grandson must be one too. As long as this area remains stuck in the past, other areas of the country will pass us by — not to mention other nations that are looking to the future and more environmentally friendly energy sources.