One thing kept showing up at every railroad track we encountered, coal trains.
When we got into West Virginia we passed a mountain top removal crime scene. The tops were being pushed over the side, below the trees knocked at angles on other trees waiting to be covered by 100 feet of rubble. In one valley we watched as 3 tracks winding in parallel carried 2 loaded trains side by side, another moved the opposite way empty. The whole trip we saw trains, everywhere, yesterday the last drive, in the flat lands of Kansas a coal train over a mile long moved south, 4 engines in front, two in the center, and one at the end. We have got to conserve and get off coal, we have to save the Appalachia. Buy an LED or CFL damn it.
The true cost of coal includes health and environmental damage, we know of some of these. In my town so many coal trains come through, one an hour I think, it made travel from east to west slow, even stopping fire trucks and ambulances, killing some who would be saved. The city raised a few miles of the track in some areas to cure this problem. This was millions in cost, for someone else's coal, Oklahoma or Arkansas, maybe Texas, but we pay millions for it. The true cost of coal?