Post from Elisa Young

Elisa Young says:

July 12, 2009

I don’t know how Mari-Lynn and Phylis managed to piece four years of our lives together and distill it down into Coal Country, but I’m grateful for the efforts that ultimately called people from communities being impacted by every facet of coal (health, environment, economic dependency) to set aside their differences and sit down together under one roof.

If you hadn’t used your talents in such a level, even-handed way, it never would have come into being.

You’ve shown that it is, in fact, all about JOBS – not ending them, but creating them.

Coal’s a dead end mono-economy that truly is killing us. In Miegs County, Ohio, we have the highest asthma and lung cancer death rate in the state, the shortest life expectancy, and rank the top third percentile for the worst air quality in the nation. Nothing but cows, coal, and cornfields here. Could the 4 coal-fired power plants around us having anything to do with these statistics? Does anyone capable of mustering an independent thought really believe that building 5 more power plants within 10 miles of us will improve our lot?

Our coal-dependent economy is crashing down around us, subsiding faster than we can prop it up.

What we decide to throw this economic stimulus money at RIGHT NOW will determine the FUTURE infrastructure our children and grandchildren will be left to live with.

If there’s one thing we all can find to agree on, I hope it can be working together to create a better future for our children and grandchildren than the one we’ve inherited from coal – cancer, black lung, global warming,
water we can’t drink, air we can’t breathe.

Yes, there was some jeering and name calling at the premier, but it could not drown out the stark reality(ies) coal country laid out before us.

I hope we can find a way to set aside our differences and get working on building a better future for our kids than digging the hole deeper.

Thank you MariLynn and Phyllis getting this urgent, timely message OUT in a way that people can see and hear it!!!

With gratitude,
Elisa

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