Mining Coal in Your Garden Is a Lucrative Business in Poland – by Natalia Ojewska (Bloomberg News – November 27, 2022)

(Bloomberg) — Polish taxi driver Grzegorz says his phone won’t stop ringing, such is the demand for his services. Yet it’s not a ride people want. Grzegorz has given up driving for a far more lucrative line of work as Poland grapples with energy shortages: illegal mining.

Around his home in the Lower Silesian city of Walbrzych, coal sits as little as a meter below the surface in fields, recreation areas and even gardens. A four-man team can unearth a ton in an hour and make 1,000 zloty ($220) each for half a day’s work, roughly 60% of what an average person earns in a week.

“My wife is against it and worried about me, but as a taxi driver I wouldn’t be able to make this kind of money,” Grzegorz said as he hoisted a bucket of the black gold from a square hole on the edge of a residential area while two of his cohort chipped away with pickaxes.

Across the world, the dirtiest of fuels is going through a revival as Russia withholds gas supplies needed to generate electricity because of the war in Ukraine.

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