An American energy company plans to build a new kind of coal facility in Indiana that would use a little-known technology to convert coal to diesel fuel.
The facility, which would be the first of its kind in the United States, has ignited fierce debate.
For those who work in the declining coal industry, the proposed plant is a beacon of hope. But others fear it will bring yet more pollution and safety risks to a region that is one of the most polluted in the nation.
Nowhere is this debate more evident than in Dale, Ind., where the facility would be built. Along Dale’s main street, dozens of home and business owners have lined their yards with signs — some protesting the facility and others supporting coal.
“I’m scared of what the health effects will be,” said Mary Hess, a Dale resident who is fighting to stop the proposed plant. “They’re going to build this thing right in our town.”