There’s a mutual dependence between rural communities and the energy companies they support. The longer it exists the more their cultures and identities are intertwined.
That’s why it’s especially painful when an industry declines and familiar corporate neighbors sell out to new owners. As an industry bleeds money and jobs, it also begins to pull back on charitable giving — just as the same forces create more need for those services.
In March I traveled to Gillette to find out what the declining coal industry means to those living on the margins, and to those committed to meeting their needs. I filed this report; “Coal corporate giving tumbles just as communities need it most.”