Recently, the West Coast blackouts have renewed the debate about the nation's energy policy and resulted in the planning of new coal-burning power plants. However, there is concern that there may be a labor shortage of mine workers. Former mine workers have taken other jobs and their children have moved out of coal mining areas to work in safer and more stable jobs. Union leaders welcome the comeback of the industry but they hope to address concerns about the working conditions.
See Flynn McRoberts, Chicago Tribune, August 20, 2001