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"There's a lot of memories here, some good, some bad," says Smith, while reflecting on his years working at the now defunct Solid Energy mine in Pike County. Rich-Joseph Facun for NPR hide caption

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Rich-Joseph Facun for NPR

An Epidemic Is Killing Thousands Of Coal Miners. Regulators Could Have Stopped It

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The Farmington Mine Disaster memorial in Mannington, W.Va., bears the names of the 78 men killed in the explosion on Nov. 20, 1968. Jesse Wright/West Virginia Public Broadcasting hide caption

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Jesse Wright/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

How A 1968 Disaster In A Coal Mine Changed The Industry

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The Garzweiler coal mine and power plant near the city of Grevenbroich in western Germany. Plans to expand an open-pit brown coal mine in the eastern German village of Pödelwitz have prompted protests. Martin Meissner/AP hide caption

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Martin Meissner/AP

Germany Bulldozes Old Villages For Coal Despite Lower Emissions Goals

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Former Massey CEO and West Virginia Republican senatorial candidate Don Blankenship (center) greets supporters Doug Smith and Wanda Smith prior to a town hall in Logan, W.Va., on Jan. 18. Steve Helber/AP hide caption

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Steve Helber/AP

David Zatezalo, the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health, was asked about the advanced black lung epidemic at a congressional hearing in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 6, 2018. Huo Jingnan/NPR hide caption

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Huo Jingnan/NPR

Black Lung Study Finds Biggest Cluster Ever Of Fatal Coal Miners' Disease

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Secretary of Energy Rick Perry testifies during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 12. Perry's proposed rule to benefit nuclear and coal power plants has been rejected by a federal regulatory commission. Drew Angerer/Getty Images hide caption

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Drew Angerer/Getty Images

This coal mine is in the town of Gujiao in Shanxi Province. Alyssa Edes/NPR hide caption

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Alyssa Edes/NPR

As China Moves To Other Energy Sources, Its Coal Region Struggles To Adapt

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In Somerset County, Pa., coal was once the economic backbone. But as technology advanced, mines around the country began laying off workers, replacing them with machinery. Laura Roman/NPR hide caption

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Laura Roman/NPR

Living In Coal Country: Somerset County Residents On The Declining Economy

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Jayme Orrack oversees Xcel Energy's new wind farm in Courtenay, N.D. The wind farm started generating electricity late last year with 100 turbines that collectively generate 200 megawatts of electricity. Amy Sisk/Prairie Public Broadcasting hide caption

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Amy Sisk/Prairie Public Broadcasting

The Rise Of Wind Energy Raises Questions About Its Reliability

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The Colstrip Generating Station near Colstrip, Mont., is the second-largest coal-fired power plant in the West. Two of its four units are scheduled to close by 2022, if not sooner. Nathan Rott/NPR hide caption

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Nathan Rott/NPR

Town That Helped Power Northwest Feels Left Behind In Shift Away From Coal

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