Coal Mining Pros And Cons

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Coal mining in the U.S. provides many jobs and is the backbone of many incomes. Longwall coal mining is one form of underground coal mining. In fact, it is the most productive form, yet the safest. The machine used is highly powerful and efficient. Pros for this type of mining are followed by cons as well. The miners who work this machine risk their lives every day to provide for their family’s as well as other people whose job security depends on the production of coal and those who use coal as a resource. The longwall mining machine is 800 ft. in width and around 5-10 ft. in height. The machine uses multiple shears mounted onto self-advancing hydraulic ceiling supports to cut the coal creating rectangular blocks, also known as panels.…show more content…
at that time. CONSOL Energy and Murray American Energy had the most longwall mining operations with 6 being the amount. Two CONSOL Energy mines in Pennsylvania hold the number 1 and 2 positions for the amount of production. The amount of coal produced by longwall mines in the U.S. in 2013-2014 according to Coal Age was a total of 188,037,970 (2013) and 207,060,161 (2014). In some states and regions, coal mining is the backbone of the economy and income. Longwall mining in certain regions, such as Greene and Washington County in Pennsylvania, parts of West Virginia, and Buchanan County in Southwestern Virginia, provide many jobs. Not only are longwall mining jobs available, the coal mines alone provide a variety of jobs in many areas. Pros of longwall mining include more efficient resource extraction as well as being one of the safest jobs in the mines due to the roof supports protecting miners while they are extracting. Although there are pros to longwall mining, like anything else, there are also cons. Extracting such large amounts of coal at a time can create areas of problem for the land above ground. This can damage structures or buildings. Longwall mining can increase sulfate levels in water as well as disrupt animal habitats. The cons may be harmful, but the amount of income and jobs provided by this method overrule the

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