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Closed coal mine in Boone County, West Virginia. WVPB/ Janet Kunicki

Coal Will Not Bring Appalachia Back to Life, But Tech and Government Jobs Could

It was supposed to be all about jobs. When the president announced his intent to abandon the Clean Power Plan this spring and then withdraw from the Paris agreement this summer, one of the biggest reasons cited was to protect the coal jobs sustaining communities in places like Appalachia.

There's just one problem. Whatever the White House says, coal jobs are in a terminal decline and whatever cynics claim, it's not some cabal of heartless environmentalists to blame. It's the power industry itself, driven by advances in technology and simple market forces.

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Go Wild for National Park Week: April 19-27

Each spring, the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation host National Park Week, a presidentially proclaimed celebration of our national heritage. This year National Park Week—technically nine days—is scheduled for April 19-27. Kicking off the week, free admission will be offered to parks nation-wide opening weekend, this Saturday and Sunday (April 19-20).

This year's theme is National Park Week: Go Wild! and everyone is invited to revel in all that America’s National Parks have to offer. Whether you are looking for hiking, history, camping or family fun, with more than 400 National Parks in the U.S., there is something for everyone.

On April 26, parks will invite young visitors to "explore, learn, protect" and be sworn in as junior rangers during National Junior Ranger Day. Browse the event calendar to check for other special programs offered throughout the week. The National Park Foundation is also encouraging guests to share their National Park photos, videos and tips.

The parks are a top tourist attraction, drawing visitors who support more than a quarter-million jobs and spend more than $30 billion in revenue each year, according to the National Parks Conservation Association. While visiting this week, learn about the ways to help support the National Parks all year. Unfortunately, 2013 was the third straight year Congress cut funding to the National Park Service operating budget and the parks remain in perpetual peril of defunding.

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