The Greening of Coal Country

From Reasons to be Cheerful, October 24, 2022.

In West Virginia, mining has long been a source of money, identity and pride. Now something new is on the horizon.

With a childhood steeped in coal dust and a budding career powered by wind, few embody West Virginia’s transformation more than Logan Reel.

The grandson of a coal miner, Reel keeps with him his grandfather’s long, painful death from pneumoconiosis — black lung disease — in 2012. Reel was 15 years old. “It really took a toll on him,” he says. An Air Force veteran, Reel might have followed in his grandfather’s footsteps if not for an economic sea change that has taken hold around his birthplace, in the coal mecca of Northeast West Virginia.

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