|Coal sludge spill on Kentucky's Big Sandy River, October 2000.|
..I have many friends dependent on the coal industry. I also support safe working conditions and environmental controls for the miners and mines. We have had over 500 mountains topped out, driving out two complete families of my grt grandparents, one family in Harlan Co., one in Mulenbergh Co Ky, and taking their farms making them refugees from their own homes.
Everyone deserves a job where they have a reasonable expectation of coming home alive and healthy. Upper big Branch, what a criminal disaster. Massey energy was a criminal enterprise, with Don Blakenship sitting in his manse on the hill looking over his fiefdom while his workers choked to death. The Inez Spill,
|Miners at McRoberts Ky|
at 100 times the size of the Exxon Valdez, Buffalo Creek, more and more, on and on, the lives not only lost but the families left in despair and economic impossibilities. The complete corporate and political failure to not only provide anything in the way of jobs for the future, any job training, or any type of economic fall back position for the communities they destroy is unconscionable, unAmerican, and treasonous. Massey was even trying to put strip mines next to grade schools and hospitals. The mine owners are required to put up a "good faith" deposit for reclamation, which they typically forfeit and walk away from the decimation they make of our mountains..It's so much cheaper to abandon the ruined mountain than to reclaim it, which is a joke in itself..
So yes, the miners are foremost in my thoughts..But back to the subject of outsourcing jobs, coal from China and South America is cheaper than American Coal, and where the energy producers are able to avoid the sulfur and particulate emission control stands, they are importing fro overseas. the 750 jobs that have recently been lost around the Whitesburg (where my family was from) and the Wise area have nothing to do with any restrictions being placed on them by any gov;t agency.. The seams are running deeper, and it cost too much money compared to the foreign coal, so instead of providing any sort of recompense or training or alternative energy development, the coal companies pack it in and leave their desolation behind, shipping our mining jobs to China and Peru..leaving overburden, toxic waste, contaminated ground water and economic devastation behind them..
So yes, I love our miners, and I hate what has been done to our families and our mountains. The greedy, corrupt politicians and corporate owners should be held accountable by everyone concerned, and we cannot be distracted by the hate trash talk that is only a diversion from the real causes of this travesty!!!