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German coal

A Steag coal power plant in Herne, Germany, on Aug. 25. The Essen-based energy company Steag wanted to convert the old coal-fired power plant Herne 4 into a gas-fired power plant at the beginning of the year. In March, Steag decided to postpone the conversion and to continue firing the old power plant with coal. Ina Fassbender/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Ina Fassbender/AFP via Getty Images

Amid an energy crisis, Germany turns to the world's dirtiest fossil fuel

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A boat is pictured on the shallow Rhine river near Oestrich Winkel, western Germany, on Aug. 12, as the water level passed below 40 centimeters, making ship transport increasingly difficult. Yann Schreiber/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Yann Schreiber/AFP via Getty Images

Germany's Rhine is at one of its lowest levels. That's trouble for the top EU economy

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The Bagger 288, a bucket-wheel excavator, digs into the beet fields behind the farm of Norbert Winzen to expand Germany's Garzweiler coal mine, one of Europe's largest open-pit mines. Winzen's family is fighting coal mine operator RWE in an effort to save their village of Keyenberg, which is more than a thousand years old. Rob Schmitz/NPR hide caption

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Rob Schmitz/NPR

A Coal-Mining 'Monster' Is Threatening To Swallow A Small Town In Germany

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A child plays near communist-era apartment blocks in Hoyerswerda, Germany. After the collapse of the communist East German government that had redeveloped the area into an industrial hub, factories shut down and coal production declined. The population has sunk below 33,000 — about half its size before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Sean Gallup/Getty Images hide caption

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Sean Gallup/Getty Images

In German Coal Country, This Former Socialist Model City Has Shrunk In Half

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