Government has to realize importance of coal mining

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 18, 2010

Speaking in the student union at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas on 7-9-10, President Obama stated “Well, I believe that if an American company wants to create jobs and grow, we should be there to help them do it.”

This sounds all good and well if you live in Las Vegas or anyplace else west of the Mississippi River.

Here in Appalachia, those words are meaningless. We mine coal here and, to the current administration, that’s like saying a bad word in Sunday school.

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While incentives are being handed out left and right for anything closely resembling “green technology,” coal mining is struggling here in our neck of the woods.

This administration has catered to the whimpers of every environmentalist to the point that miners are being sent home because their line of work is being regulated out.

The EPA and OSM are daily tightening the noose around the mining industry’s neck, by some actions of which have not been approved by the U.S. Congress.

Arbitrary actions that place the importance of bugs in a stream above the needs of the people are what we are facing in the daily conduct of our business.

The mining industry is not looking for a bail-out; only an opportunity to continue coal mining in a reasonable and responsible manner. Granted, it is hard to grow anything without a nurturing hand. I, therefore, would hope the president, EPA and OSM would come to see the importance of coal in our economy and “be there to help us mine it”.

I would also hope that the readers of The Tribune would visit the FACES of Coal website http:/ and consider becoming members.

John F. Enyart

Ashland, Ky.