After the explosion of the National Fuel Reserve, the atmosphere was radically altered. The hardships brought on humanity were severe. The population embraced alternative energies and outright decried the further use of fossil fuels; however, not everyone listened. There were many who saw the opportunity to make some easy money by taking control of the still-intact fuel infrastructures. These groups continued to mine coal and hoard petroleum, running greenhouse gas spewing operations which further accelerated the negative affects of the on-going atmosphere metamorphosis.
Collectively known as "coalers," these men and women were in actuality only loosely arranged in autonomous companies. These companies were usually comprised of mercenaries and organized by "entrepreneurial" administrators. With minimal communication between these groups, they were a syndicate in name only. Although disliked by the population at large for their continued degradation of the atmosphere, they persisted mostly unfettered.
However, some citizens like Chuchi Bergman actively attacked their operations. Confrontations between the coalers and these ecoterrorists frequently ended in bloodshed.
The Coal Syndicate closely guarded its secrets and Information about their operations is scarce. Even those who lived among them (such as Etsuko) had only a cursory grasp of the higher workings of the organization. The source of the coalers' advanced weaponry and their exact methods for profiting from the fossil fuels they collected remain a mystery.