Development and Environment: Industrial Action in the Anthracite Region of Pennsylvania, 1947–1968
- Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies
- Penn State University Press
- Volume 86, Number 2, Spring 2019
- pp. 195-221
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- Additional Information
Coal mining is a historically dirty business, creating numerous environmental problems. This article examines the detrimental impact anthracite mining had on the environment of northeastern Pennsylvania and the involvement of local groups, specifically business interests, in their efforts to reverse the effects of mining in the post–World War II era. Despite a rich social and labor historiography of the anthracite coalfields, little has been written on the environmental aspects of the region. The traditional historical perspective is one of environmental degradation due to uncontrolled capitalism. These accounts largely ignore the environmental perspectives and reactions of local interests. Examining local involvement reveals a strong correlation between a healthy environment and economic progress that ultimately changed the environment of the area. Seen in this way, business and environmental interests in the anthracite region were two sides of the same coin.