Issues in Appalachia

Appalachia is a very influential and important region in the United States.  Through agriculture, mining, music, etc. Appalachia has created a very unique culture.  Although Appalachia has been very prosperous, there are some issues.  Coal mining has been a huge industry throughout the entire region.  It has helped create and sustain many jobs, but has detrimental effects on the environment and the people living in it.  Many reports of cancer in specific locations have surfaced in the area.  The coal companies do not seem to be taking the environmental acts seriously, so they dump toxic waste into waterways.  The heavy metals from the blasting remains in the waste, poisoning the water Appalachians drink.  Over time, multiple people have gotten sick and even died directly due to the hazardous waste coal companies are dumping.  There is a large issue between coal miners and other citizens of Appalachia.  On one hand, the coal industry has created jobs for people in the region, paying them just enough to live.  Since rural Appalachia does not contain many big business companies and opportunities that larger cities have, mining is the only available option for many people.  People opposing coal mining have seen the horrible effects on the land, as well as on health.  Many Appalachian’s live in extreme poverty, barely able to support themselves and their families.  In some areas of Appalachia, education is not strongly encouraged and school systems are underdeveloped.  With no strong incentive to go to school, many people lack an education.  Also, some people cannot afford to go to college or even high school, and they have to begin work as soon as they are of age.  I believe Appalachia could be improved in many different aspects to help solve these issues.  For example, improving education systems could help children get involved in school at an early age, increasing their chances of continuing their education.  If more jobs are brought into Appalachia, more people would be able to work elsewhere other than in the mines.  I think Appalachia should place heavy importance on finding a renewable energy source, so other jobs can be brought in and mining can be reduced.  Offering job training programs could help out of work people learn skills to allow them to work outside of the mining industry.  Appalachia has a multitude of resources and people to offer, they just need programs to be implemented to help.

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