In the last few decades we progressed from coal companies worrying about mining but not about cleanup, to ensuring they had enough money for the eventual cleanup, to – oops – allowing them to self-regulate the cleanup funds. Some coal companies are now finding that, as coal’s fortunes decline, their funds for funding the cleanup have faded as well. Now, the public will have to fund the cleanups at a cost of billions of dollars. Congratulate ourselves on using less coal. Now, we get to pay for the privilege.
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