If you appreciate Senator Byrd’s opinion, give his office a call to say thank you. 202-224-3954
Hooo boy, please note this amazing dispatch from one of the most powerful coalfield Senators -and one of the most powerful Senators, period.
West Virginia Blue has posted the full copy of this important new dispatch from Senator Byrd, in which he asks important, if difficult, questions about mountaintop removal and the economies relying on the coal industry. You can listen to the speech here (highly recommend).
The Senator notes:
…There is a strong bi-partisan opposition in Congress to the mountaintop removal method of mining [coal].
The increased use of mountaintop removal mining means that fewer miners are needed to meet company production goals. Meanwhile the Central Appalachian coal seams that remain to be mined are becoming thinner and more costly to mine. Mountaintop removal mining, a declining national demand for energy, rising mining costs and erratic spot market prices all add up to fewer jobs in the coal fields.
and of particular importance to community members in the coal fields who are facing threats against their families and lives because of misinformation from the coal industry, Senator Byrd says that:
The greatest threats to the future of coal do not come from possible constraints on mountaintop removal mining or other environmental regulations, but rather from rigid mindsets, depleting coal reserves, and the declining demand for coal as more power plants begin shifting to biomass and natural gas as a way to reduce emissions.
This speech (you really should listen to it, Senator Byrd is such a great and unique orator) directly confronts some very powerful players in the coal industry and in the state of West Virginia (aka the coal industry). It should be very exciting to see what happens next.