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Pictures | Tue Feb 5, 2013 | 8:26am EST

Under Obama, coal country fights for its way of life

Processed coal streams out into a pile after being cleaned in the prep plant at the Century Mine near Beallsville, Ohio, January 25, 2013. While cities such as Pittsburgh have recovered from the decline of coal and steel, rural areas such as the Ohio Valley have been largely left behind. Four or five mines operate in an area that once had 25, veteran miners say. Picture taken January 25, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Cohn

Processed coal streams out into a pile after being cleaned in the prep plant at the Century Mine near Beallsville, Ohio, January 25, 2013. While cities such as Pittsburgh have recovered from the decline of coal and steel, rural areas such as the Ohio...more

Processed coal streams out into a pile after being cleaned in the prep plant at the Century Mine near Beallsville, Ohio, January 25, 2013. While cities such as Pittsburgh have recovered from the decline of coal and steel, rural areas such as the Ohio Valley have been largely left behind. Four or five mines operate in an area that once had 25, veteran miners say. Picture taken January 25, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Cohn
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A bulldozer spreads processed coal at the Century Mine near Beallsville, Ohio, January 25, 2013. While cities such as Pittsburgh have recovered from the decline of coal and steel, rural areas such as the Ohio Valley have been largely left behind. Four or five mines operate in an area that once had 25, veteran miners say. Picture taken January 25, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Cohn

A bulldozer spreads processed coal at the Century Mine near Beallsville, Ohio, January 25, 2013. While cities such as Pittsburgh have recovered from the decline of coal and steel, rural areas such as the Ohio Valley have been largely left behind....more

A bulldozer spreads processed coal at the Century Mine near Beallsville, Ohio, January 25, 2013. While cities such as Pittsburgh have recovered from the decline of coal and steel, rural areas such as the Ohio Valley have been largely left behind. Four or five mines operate in an area that once had 25, veteran miners say. Picture taken January 25, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Cohn
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The coal prep plant sits at the center of the Century Mine near Beallsville, Ohio, January 25, 2013. While cities such as Pittsburgh have recovered from the decline of coal and steel, rural areas such as the Ohio Valley have been largely left behind. Four or five mines operate in an area that once had 25, veteran miners say. Picture taken January 25, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Cohn

The coal prep plant sits at the center of the Century Mine near Beallsville, Ohio, January 25, 2013. While cities such as Pittsburgh have recovered from the decline of coal and steel, rural areas such as the Ohio Valley have been largely left behind....more

The coal prep plant sits at the center of the Century Mine near Beallsville, Ohio, January 25, 2013. While cities such as Pittsburgh have recovered from the decline of coal and steel, rural areas such as the Ohio Valley have been largely left behind. Four or five mines operate in an area that once had 25, veteran miners say. Picture taken January 25, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Cohn
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A load out line at the Century Mine carries cleaned coal to a transport area near Beallsville, Ohio, January 25, 2013. While cities such as Pittsburgh have recovered from the decline of coal and steel, rural areas such as the Ohio Valley have been largely left behind. Four or five mines operate in an area that once had 25, veteran miners say. Picture taken January 25, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Cohn

A load out line at the Century Mine carries cleaned coal to a transport area near Beallsville, Ohio, January 25, 2013. While cities such as Pittsburgh have recovered from the decline of coal and steel, rural areas such as the Ohio Valley have been...more

A load out line at the Century Mine carries cleaned coal to a transport area near Beallsville, Ohio, January 25, 2013. While cities such as Pittsburgh have recovered from the decline of coal and steel, rural areas such as the Ohio Valley have been largely left behind. Four or five mines operate in an area that once had 25, veteran miners say. Picture taken January 25, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Cohn
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A billboard carries a message for the coal industry near Wheeling, West Virginia January 25, 2013. While cities such as Pittsburgh have recovered from the decline of coal and steel, rural areas such as the Ohio Valley have been largely left behind. Four or five mines operate in an area that once had 25, veteran miners say. Picture taken January 25, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Cohn

A billboard carries a message for the coal industry near Wheeling, West Virginia January 25, 2013. While cities such as Pittsburgh have recovered from the decline of coal and steel, rural areas such as the Ohio Valley have been largely left behind....more

A billboard carries a message for the coal industry near Wheeling, West Virginia January 25, 2013. While cities such as Pittsburgh have recovered from the decline of coal and steel, rural areas such as the Ohio Valley have been largely left behind. Four or five mines operate in an area that once had 25, veteran miners say. Picture taken January 25, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Cohn
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Assistant Superintendent Casey Crooks stands beside coal mining equipment at Murray Energy Corporation’s Century Mine near Beallsville, Ohio January 24, 2013. While cities such as Pittsburgh have recovered from the decline of coal and steel, rural areas such as the Ohio Valley have been largely left behind. Four or five mines operate in an area that once had 25, veteran miners say. Picture taken January 24, 2013. REUTERS/Daniel Trotta

Assistant Superintendent Casey Crooks stands beside coal mining equipment at Murray Energy Corporation’s Century Mine near Beallsville, Ohio January 24, 2013. While cities such as Pittsburgh have recovered from the decline of coal and steel, rural...more

Assistant Superintendent Casey Crooks stands beside coal mining equipment at Murray Energy Corporation’s Century Mine near Beallsville, Ohio January 24, 2013. While cities such as Pittsburgh have recovered from the decline of coal and steel, rural areas such as the Ohio Valley have been largely left behind. Four or five mines operate in an area that once had 25, veteran miners say. Picture taken January 24, 2013. REUTERS/Daniel Trotta
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An unidentified coal miner oversees the shearer ripping coal from the face of the "longwall" at Murray Energy Corporation’s Century Mine near Beallsville, Ohio in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters January 29, 2013. While cities such as Pittsburgh have recovered from the decline of coal and steel, rural areas such as the Ohio Valley have been largely left behind. Four or five mines operate in an area that once had 25, veteran miners say. REUTERS/Murray Energy Corporation/Handout

An unidentified coal miner oversees the shearer ripping coal from the face of the "longwall" at Murray Energy Corporation’s Century Mine near Beallsville, Ohio in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters January 29, 2013. While cities such as...more

An unidentified coal miner oversees the shearer ripping coal from the face of the "longwall" at Murray Energy Corporation’s Century Mine near Beallsville, Ohio in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters January 29, 2013. While cities such as Pittsburgh have recovered from the decline of coal and steel, rural areas such as the Ohio Valley have been largely left behind. Four or five mines operate in an area that once had 25, veteran miners say. REUTERS/Murray Energy Corporation/Handout
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A coal miner removes coal produced from a tunnel dug by a continuous miner machine at Murray Energy Corporation’s Century Mine near Beallsville, Ohio in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters January 29, 2013. Most coal production comes from the "longwall" but miners also scoop up coal broken loose when digging tunnels. While cities such as Pittsburgh have recovered from the decline of coal and steel, rural areas such as the Ohio Valley have been largely left behind. Four or five mines operate in an area that once had 25, veteran miners say. REUTERS/Murray Energy Corporation/Handout

A coal miner removes coal produced from a tunnel dug by a continuous miner machine at Murray Energy Corporation’s Century Mine near Beallsville, Ohio in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters January 29, 2013. Most coal production comes from...more

A coal miner removes coal produced from a tunnel dug by a continuous miner machine at Murray Energy Corporation’s Century Mine near Beallsville, Ohio in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters January 29, 2013. Most coal production comes from the "longwall" but miners also scoop up coal broken loose when digging tunnels. While cities such as Pittsburgh have recovered from the decline of coal and steel, rural areas such as the Ohio Valley have been largely left behind. Four or five mines operate in an area that once had 25, veteran miners say. REUTERS/Murray Energy Corporation/Handout
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REFILE - ADDING SLUG A coal miner removes coal produced from a tunnel dug by a continuous miner machine at Murray Energy Corporation’s Century Mine near Beallsville, Ohio in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters January 29, 2013. Most coal production comes from the "longwall" but miners also scoop up coal broken loose when digging tunnels. While cities such as Pittsburgh have recovered from the decline of coal and steel, rural areas such as the Ohio Valley have been largely left behind. Four or five mines operate in an area that once had 25, veteran miners say. REUTERS/Murray Energy Corporation/Handout

REFILE - ADDING SLUG A coal miner removes coal produced from a tunnel dug by a continuous miner machine at Murray Energy Corporation’s Century Mine near Beallsville, Ohio in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters January 29, 2013. Most coal...more

REFILE - ADDING SLUG A coal miner removes coal produced from a tunnel dug by a continuous miner machine at Murray Energy Corporation’s Century Mine near Beallsville, Ohio in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters January 29, 2013. Most coal production comes from the "longwall" but miners also scoop up coal broken loose when digging tunnels. While cities such as Pittsburgh have recovered from the decline of coal and steel, rural areas such as the Ohio Valley have been largely left behind. Four or five mines operate in an area that once had 25, veteran miners say. REUTERS/Murray Energy Corporation/Handout
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A coal miner drills a bolt into the ceiling of Murray Energy Corporation’s Century Mine near Beallsville, Ohio to help support the underground tunnel in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters January 29, 2013. Most coal production comes from the "longwall" but miners also scoop up coal broken loose when digging tunnels. While cities such as Pittsburgh have recovered from the decline of coal and steel, rural areas such as the Ohio Valley have been largely left behind. Four or five mines operate in an area that once had 25, veteran miners say. REUTERS/Murray Energy Corporation/Handout

A coal miner drills a bolt into the ceiling of Murray Energy Corporation’s Century Mine near Beallsville, Ohio to help support the underground tunnel in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters January 29, 2013. Most coal production comes from...more

A coal miner drills a bolt into the ceiling of Murray Energy Corporation’s Century Mine near Beallsville, Ohio to help support the underground tunnel in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters January 29, 2013. Most coal production comes from the "longwall" but miners also scoop up coal broken loose when digging tunnels. While cities such as Pittsburgh have recovered from the decline of coal and steel, rural areas such as the Ohio Valley have been largely left behind. Four or five mines operate in an area that once had 25, veteran miners say. REUTERS/Murray Energy Corporation/Handout
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A coal miner using a control box strapped around his waist operates a continuous miner, the machine that digs tunnels, in Murray Energy Corporation's Century Mine near Beallsville, Ohio in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters January 29, 2013. Most coal production comes from the "longwall" but miners also scoop up coal broken loose when digging tunnels. While cities such as Pittsburgh have recovered from the decline of coal and steel, rural areas such as the Ohio Valley have been largely left behind. Four or five mines operate in an area that once had 25, veteran miners say. REUTERS/Murray Energy Corporation/Handout

A coal miner using a control box strapped around his waist operates a continuous miner, the machine that digs tunnels, in Murray Energy Corporation's Century Mine near Beallsville, Ohio in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters January 29,...more

A coal miner using a control box strapped around his waist operates a continuous miner, the machine that digs tunnels, in Murray Energy Corporation's Century Mine near Beallsville, Ohio in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters January 29, 2013. Most coal production comes from the "longwall" but miners also scoop up coal broken loose when digging tunnels. While cities such as Pittsburgh have recovered from the decline of coal and steel, rural areas such as the Ohio Valley have been largely left behind. Four or five mines operate in an area that once had 25, veteran miners say. REUTERS/Murray Energy Corporation/Handout
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