Living in Eastern Kentucky, a region that relies heavily on the coal industry, most find the dispute about coal senseless. Majority argues that coal is a major cause of the pollution within our country. However, coal is a beneficial resource; coal generates electricity. Consider the well-known saying, "Coal Keeps the Lights On." I believe when people are against coal and feel that it is too dangerous for our families or communities, they need to look at where we would be without coal. In my hometown there are numerous families supported by coal. It is how we provide warmth for our homes, lights in the house and food on our tables. Not only is it a huge job provider in our region, but it is also a lot cheaper than wind turbines and/or gas.
Throughout my life, I have heard many people and critics say mining is too dangerous and is the cause of too many deaths. However, accidents and deaths can occur in any job. Coal mining can be dangerous, but just like every other job, safety is a number one priority. According to "Most Dangerous Jobs in 2011," the job with the highest fatality rate was fishing related workers with a rate of 116 per 100,000. Next is logging workers with a fatality rate of 91.9 per 100,000. Third
are pilots and flight engineers at a fatality rate of 70.6 per 100,000. Fourth are miscellaneous extraction workers (such as earth drillers and blaster/explosive operators) with a fatality rate of 64.2 per 100,000. Next are farmers and ranchers at a rate of 41.4 per 100,000. Falling into sixth place are coal miners with a fatality rate of 38.9 per 100,000. Next are mining machine operators at 38.7 per 100,000. Then are roofers at 32.4 per 100,000. After that are refuse and recycling collectors at a rate of 29.8 per 100,000. Finally, you have driver/sales workers and truck drivers at a rate of 21.8 per 100,000. Job safety has made impressive strides in the last few decades. There are more regulations and more precautions than ever before. Safety for coal miners includes the wearing of hard hats, old clothing, kneepads, safety glasses, and the required equipment.
Being the daughter of a coal miner, I have got to experience the many pros and cons of this job. My father, a prosperous strip job miner for many years, has always been able to provide our family with all of our wants and needs. Most of my childhood friends, had fathers that worked right beside of mine throughout the years. They to will agree with me when I say coal has helped my family in many ways. I can't begin to count the days where my family and I would watch my father walk in with only his bright blue eyes shining through all the blackness. He was always telling my brother and cousins "Coal mining will turn boys into responsible hard working men and that it will make one learn to earn what they have, work with a team and be compassionate toward each other." Because of these wise words, I have always been a supporter of coal, and I believe more