As a result of economic cutbacks in the fossil fuel industry during the pandemic, coal companies are requesting relief from taxes that contribute funding to retired coal worker health benefits. Nearly 25,000 retired coal miners receive support from the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund. The program is funded by an excise tax on the mining industry and is set per ton of coal extracted. If the excise tax is cut back, more strain could be put on a population that is already vulnerable to serious impacts from the virus. Read More.