Death at a silver mine

On Nov. 17, two men died from carbon monoxide poisoning at the recently reopened Revenue Virginius mine outside Ouray, Colorado. The historic silver mine had just reopened after being shuttered for 30ish years, and people in Ouray County were excited to have the industry back. Now that excitement seems muted. I rounded up the situation in this blog post forĀ High Country News.

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Abandoned mine somewhere in Colorado. Courtesy Flickr user katsrcool.

I’ve been thinking recently about why I like writing about mining and energy so much, and I think it’s because there is this huge disconnect between the appliances and gadgets we use and the minerals and fossil fuels required to produce them. Sometimes it seems ridiculous that in order to have cutting edge electronics, we need guys to crawl into holes and blow stuff up and dig it out. And then to power those gadgets, we burn rocks. And risk peoples lives.

Covering coal

It’s really been all coal all the time for me recently. From the story I’m working on for High Country News about changes in the Navajo Nation’s relationship to coal, to covering the EPA’s Denver hearing on carbon dioxide regulations from existing power plants, I’ve been thinking of little else. Here are two recent stories about that Denver hearing: one for the radio and one for HCN’s blog, The Goat.

What's this chunk of coal doing in my garden?

What’s this chunk of coal doing in my garden?