A cross with smokestacks in the background

Reverend Mitchell Hescox encourages Christians to advocate for clean energy … a surprising cause for a man who grew up in coal country.

Hescox: “My grandfathers were both coal miners. My dad was a coal miner for the first part of his life.”

For fourteen years, Hescox worked in the industry, too, designing equipment. But he slowly began learning about what he calls the true costs of coal: acid rain, air pollution, water pollution, and climate change.

Hescox: “And I think that’s what really started to drive me to really care about clean energy was the fact that, you know, we’re destroying God’s creation.”

Today he’s president of the Evangelical Environmental Network. He speaks to Christians across the country about reducing reliance on coal.

Hescox: “I really don’t have a whole lot of sympathy for many of the coal companies, but I have a tremendous amount of empathy for coal miners. I know the health impacts that coal miners have gone through.”

His grandfathers suffered from black lung disease. So while promoting clean energy, he also stresses the need to provide support and job placement for miners:

Hescox: “… who gave of their life and their health not only to provide for their own families, but to provide the backbone of energy in the United States for the past 100 years.”

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.