Sen. Byrd had it right about mining

From the Bluefield Weekly Telegraph:

Let me state emphatically that I do not know and have never met a person who indicated that he or she opposed coal mining or that he or she was an enemy of coal.
I know and have met many who oppose mountaintop removal as a method of coal mining. Many strongly oppose filling the headwaters of all types of streams. Many also feel that coal tonnage mined would not be significantly affected if mountaintop removal as a type of mining were simply discontinued. They feel the tonnage now mined by mountaintop removal would be mined by other methods and that it would actually increase the number of jobs in the coal industry.

The U.S. coal industry now, as in the past, has the capacity to mine more tonnage than the coal market can support at a profitable level. Therefore the coal industry in West Virginia will continue the boom and bust cycles it has known since its inception. Coal miners will continue to be at the mercy of layoffs and recalls. Our basic question is: Do we continue mountaintop removal as a mining method, sacrifice our mountains and in the process make a few people rich or do we close it down, save the mountains and spread our wealth from coal among a much broader base of those engaged in other types of mining?

I think Senator Byrd had it right. It is past time for arguing over this or that type of mining and to seriously make major efforts to develop both the “safe” use of what is mined and the development of “safe” alternative sources of energy to supplement the “safe” use of coal.

A strong diversified economic base is far better and more dependable than an economic base built on a few extractable, renewable and nonrenewable resources.

Bill Morefield


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One Response to Sen. Byrd had it right about mining

  1. Brandy says:

    I want to explain to everyone that my opinion may or maynot matter, but I am going to voice it no matter what! I am the wife, daughter, grand-daughter, daughter-in-law, neice, and friend of coal miners. The heritage runs deep in my family. We have coal mined for generations and all I hear is the constant battering of my heritage. I am fed up!! All everyone talks about is the coal mines do this or do that or did this to me or that to me. I am tired, sick of hearing all of the bull shit that comes out of the mouths of people who don’t know what it is like to live where I do. Who make opinion without putting themselves in my shoes.

    Coal mining feeds my family and pays my bills, if anyone out there wants to pay all of my bills, then my husband will quit work, until then shut your mouth! My husband goes to work everyday and risks his life to better the life of his children. He sacrifices EVERYDAY to feed the family that he loves.

    Everyone looks at all of the bad things that come out of mining, have they actually stepped back to ask, who keeps their ass warm when it is cold out? NO! Do they ask, “Where does the energy for our lights come from, or the coal for our steel?” NO!! I can go on and on and on.

    The point is that everyone has an opinion, but coal mining should be left alone. It doesn’t matter if they have to crawl in a black hole or take it from the top, either way I am thankful for the plus side of it. At least when it is reclaimed the beauty is remarkable to see.

    Here is a question for you. What about logging jobs? They go in and butcher a hillside and leave it. There are no reclamation of those places. And everyone thinks coal mining is bad. Step back, look around and then tell me what is worse.

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