I had to put this out there. I have been putting enough things on Facebook supporting coal for the last couple of months to choke a horse and some people may not understand why. I have the “Stop the War on Coal: Fire Obama” sign in my yard. I support coal proudly because of the area I live in and because my grandfather was a coal miner. My great-aunt and uncle (who were basically my other grandparents) ran a coal mine in the mid 1900s. I have ‘coal miner’s granddaughter’ on the back of my car in support of those things.
As a child growing up some of my favorite memories was going out to watch the stars with my mom in the warm summer. When we went outside, I would hear the hum of a exhaust fan from a mine over the hill and also the coal cars down the road clicking on the track at another mine. Those sounds brought me comfort. I now step out in the same area and hear…silence. While some, I am sure, would think that was a blessing to me it is not. The mines brought us revenue, jobs and lower taxes.
Living in the Pennsylvania/WV border area I have seen several mines close. Most recently would be a area on the road I travel everyday on the way to work. You could go through and see the trucks getting loaded or a CSX train getting loaded to take coal to the steel mills. As I was watching coal piles disappear I didn’t realize what was happening there until I stopped seeing trucks, I stopped seeing the train and I saw the enteries blocked up and gated. The land was bare. The bulldozers sitting in a row. My heart aches for all of the workers who lost their jobs.
Unfortunately, with regulations I believe this is going to be a growing trend. I am tired of coal being blamed for so many illnesses and such. My grandfather never got Black Lung and was tested. I am not saying no one has, but could other factors be in play? Smoking? Genetics? I am not a doctor. I am afraid with the regulations forthcoming that not only coal jobs are going to be in question, but so is coal fired power plants and our electric prices. I know the coal fired power plants cause asthma right? I have lived by two all my life and they recently built a third. This is within a 10 mile radius of my house. I don’t have asthma and the only time I did I was really obese as a teenager, but I lost weight and the asthma.
Anyhow, please think about all factors if you are not a fan of coal. Please think of the families who this is all they have known as work, how they have risked their lives to support thier family and gave so much.