According to a news story was first reported by my friend Ken Ward Jr. at the Charleston Gazette-Mail, the Trump administration recently pulled the plug on a study by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine on the health effects of mountaintop removal mining. This occurred in spite of numerous scientific studies that suggest increased rates of birth defects, cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases
This shouldn't be too much of a surprise. As a Gazette editorial put it, "This administration is anti-science and very pro-coal. It is not so pro-coal miner, or coal miner’s family or community. A clearer understanding of how and why coalfield residents get sick, die and have too many birth defects might get in the way of enthusiasm to mine more coal at all costs."
A serious scientific study of the health effects would have at least helped to clear the air, metaphorically speaking, about the issue. One thing's for sure: you probably won't find what you don't look for.