"Biggers is a cultural historian and it is the social strip-mining that angers him most. But seldom have the environmental and social landscapes been so well described in a single essay."
"CLEAN coal is the new mantra - the holy grail that will allow us to keep burning the black stuff without wrecking the climate. But in the coalfields of southern Illinois, they have heard that one before.
Jeff Biggers, in his "secret legacy of coal in the heartland" of the US, tracks that piece of charlatan alliteration back more than a century. It was the advertising slogan of coal salesmen in Chicago in the 1890s, the promise of those who wanted federal funds to turn coal to gas, the claim of those who called acid rain a hoax, and now the pitch of those selling dreams of burning coal, capturing its carbon dioxide, and burying it who knows where."
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