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Off Topic: Scranton Pennsylvania and Coal Mining

There has not been an operating undergound coal mine in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Metropolitan Census Designated Statistical Area in more than 50 years. Despite this we still have visiting members of the national media and politicians made public comments to the contrary. We were a boom town of anthracite coal mining, steel making, railroads from about 1880 up until World War I. After that various factors led to mining's and other industires up decline up until the 1950s. This is when the last underground mines closed. The only one open is for visitors in Scranton. If you are interested in industrial revolution and turn of the century history we have some good museums and sites.

As for today though, here are the facts from the State o

f Pennsylvania for anthracite coal permits.

Underground Mines 0

Surface Mining 20

Refuse Reprocessing 23

Incidental Mining (landfills) 2

They combined employ a total of less than 500 people.

If you travel further South to Schuykill County it much more resembles what you would think of as an active coal mining town for anthracite. Other parts of the state in the South and West have some considerable bituminous/soft coal mining operations. Regardless though, relatively speaking coal mining of any sort is a blip, if that, of the overall Pennsylvania economy.

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