Grapple: Coal Miners, No Relic Of The Past

Jun 1, 2017

Members of the Mettiki Mine Rescue team regrouped after extinguishing a fire during the live burn exercise, and carefully rolled up their hoses. “There’s lots of sharp, pointy things in a coal mine,” said Austin Ponceroff, a member of the Harvey Mine Rescue Team. He was waiting for his team’s first event. “If you don’t take care of your hoses, you’re going to be in bad shape.” (Margaret J. Krauss/WESA)

Pennsylvania is the nation’s fifth largest coal producer. Counties in the western, central, and even eastern parts of the state are home to coal mines. But far less coal comes out of the ground than it used to. On this episode, we’ll head to southwestern Pennsylvania where coal mining is a strong part of the area’s identity, and find out what some miners there are grappling with. We’ll hear from our reporter Margaret J. Krauss about a mine rescue team, a retired coal miner worried about his future, and a former miner who had to find new work.

See photos and listen to the full episode at the Keystone Crossroads website.