The History Of Coal Mining In Pennsylvania

analytical Essay
998 words
998 words

The energy producing market has always been a staple in Pennsylvania's history. Being rich in coal, natural gas, and other forms of energy, Pennsylvania has produced much of the nation's fuel or electricity. With a location so rich in coal, companies began to open many mines in order to either stay ahead of competitors, improve production, or for easier transportation of the commodity. The large amounts of coal being mined ushered in the many railroad systems bringing another powerful business to Pennsylvania. Coal barons, mine owners, made gross amounts of money off of the hard work from miners. Coal had played such a integral role in the Keystone State that it led to some towns being named after the industry such Carbondale and Minersville. Pennsylvania quickly became associated with coal in America and whenever there was news about the state, coal was mentioned with it. Especially during both World Wars, Pennsylvania was looked to for providing energy used both at home and in the war effort. This supply shock meant mine operations needed to run efficiently and both the Federal government and the presidents during each respective time ensured the productivity would meet the great demand. Coal mining was at an all time high until tragedy struck on 22 January 1959, when the River Slope mine's roof collapsed because of the Susquehanna River causing flooding to the mine killing many workers. The disaster marked the beginning of the end to deep mining in Pennsylvania. To this day however, Pennsylvania remains strongly associated with the harvesting of many energy sources. Pennsylvania, along with being rich in coal, is now receiving kudos for its participation in the production of natural gas. An article composed by Madelon...

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... the residual effects of pollution left behind by both mining in the Chesapeake Bay area around rivers, such as the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania, that feed into the Chesapeake Bay. Lutz also had quoted John Dawes, now the executive director of the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds, on the damage done to streams and to the aquatic life in the streams. Dawes told Lutz "'we're looking at 4,600 miles of dead streams in Pennsylvania'" in reference to the vitality in polluted regions. This can occur in several ways but the two generally accepted causes are the toxicity levels in the water are too high to support life and the contaminated water is slowly killing off members of the food chains for the aquatic life. In either theory, the death of fish and their food chain caused by AMD is impacting the billion dollar fishing industry that calls Chesapeake Bay home.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that pennsylvania was rich in coal, natural gas, and other forms of energy, which led to the establishment of many mines and railroads. coal mining was at an all-time high until tragedy struck on 22 january 1959.
  • Analyzes how pennsylvania's participation in the production of natural gas has led to increased revenue for the state and combated the unemployment crisis.
  • Explains that the natural gas industry has been taking flack from the environmental concerns raised by fracking — the process of injecting liquids at very high pressures in order to extract oil and/or gas from underground.
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