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New reality show is ‘Ice Road Truckers’ for coal miners

The Spike network is set to run a show about coal miners, in the mold of Deadliest Catch and Ice Road Truckers -- gritty dudes fighting their way through the world’s hardest jobs. This has the potential to expose coal’s seamy underbelly, or to glamorize it beyond repair (at least in the minds of Spike-watching meatheads). According to the New York Times’ Virginia Heffernan, it sort of does neither and both. Here’s how it shakes out: The show is frank about the human dangers of mining -- and Spike has partnered with remembertheminers.org, which helps the families of 29 coal …

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Coal plants don’t create the jobs they promise, study finds

Coal-fired power plants sicken and kill tens of thousands of Americans every year, especially those (generally low-income, often minority) Americans who have the misfortune of living near them. So why would any community allow a coal plant to be built in its midst? Indeed, why would communities pay enormous amounts of money in bribes development assistance for the privilege? Simple: jobs. Lots of these communities are suffering from blight and high unemployment. They are desperate. And developers play on that desperation with promises of jobs. It may sicken your children, but at least you'll be able to afford their medicine! …