In 2000, West Virginia’s electoral votes went for George W. Bush, one of the few times that West Virginia went for anyone but a Democrat after Franklin Delano Roosevelt. More unusual was that in 2000 the southern counties – the coalfields – had a majority voting for the Republican candidate, if by a small margin. That margin has only grown in the Obama elections, while, for the first time, Republican state representatives are being elected to coalfield districts. To understand the electoral transition this thesis looks to a concurrent trend in the Appalachian coalfields: the rise of “pro-coal” political mobilizations. What appears to be grassroots support for the coal industry, a claim this work argues has some validity, has overtaken the cultural and political landscape of the central Appalachian coalfields. This work relies on ethnographic data from the last four years that the author collected as an activist first, then as an undergraduate researcher, to examine the intersection of climate change politics, mountaintop coal mining, and the coalfields’ transition towards the Republican Party. Support for the coal industry seems counter-intuitive for the author: as mountaintop mining (dubbed mountaintop removal or surface mining) has documented health impacts for nearby communities, while many coalfield families have long histories of resisting coal company power as members of the miners’ union – even fighting and dying for the United Mine Workers of America in the 1920s and 1980s. Rejecting notions offalse consciousnessthat run through much of the Leftist approach to the working class Right, this work instead approaches emergent Appalachian electoral and “pro-coal” politics as an articulation of nuanced cultural, racial, and gendered relations to the emerging field of climate change politics in the US Left. In such claims the work relies on theorists such as Stuart Hall, Michel Foucault, and Donna Haraway. This work starts by situating identity in the Appalachian coalfields in the past, examining how poverty and the politics of difference become important today. The work looks at the conflict over mountaintop mining and the rise of climate change politics as overtly anti-coal. The thesis then engages large questions about how conceptions of nature and masculine uses of space – mining and riding all-terrain-vehicles – become important for understanding political positioning. Finally, the author moves to examine the implications of such political transitions for those interested in social justice and democracy in the United States, or those concerned about climate change worldwide.