The Cost of Coal

When mining companies level West Virginia mountains to get at the coal beneath, towns disappear.

When a Michigan power plant burns coal to make electricity, it triggers asthma in children nearby.

When coal ash blows onto a Paiute reservation in Nevada, elders die.

Sierra traveled to those three states to ask people how their lives have been affected by the world's dirtiest energy source--and what they're doing to stop it.

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Photographs by Ami Vitale/Panos Pictures
Text by Steve Hawk