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This article discusses the exhaustion of socio-ecological relations in the coalfields of West Virginia. We use the term socio-ecological to signify "the interwoven character and the indispensable unity of social and natural life" (Araghi 2009: 115). In particular we use classic literatures on labor history in the coalfields of central Appalachia and contemporary studies of mountaintop removal to think about phases of socio-ecological relations of the coal industry. We argue for thedoi:10.5195/jwsr.2014.556 fatcat:ogclww4c5jghvhzohiln2hyaca