Our View

November 10, 2013

It should come as no surprise that a newspaper that carries the inscription: “In The Heart Of The Trillion Dollar Coalfields” in its banner on the front page would be a staunch supporter of the coal industry, the jobs it provides, the tax revenue it generates and the money it spends in our local communities, creating demand for other businesses and industries.

It does mystify us, though, that so many Americans, especially those in our nation’s capital, don’t understand the impact that coal has upon our state’s, our region’s and our country’s economy.

It should especially frustrate us to know that so many in positions to regulate coal and its uses would want to eliminate markets for our state’s, and our region’s, most important, and plentiful, natural resource.

It is unbelievable to us that these people would want to regulate coal out of existence, crippling our state’s, and our region’s, economy at a time when they should be doing whatever is necessary to stimulate the nation’s economy and create jobs for all Americans who want them.

It also is unfathomable to us that the same people would want to eliminate coal as a relatively low-cost source of energy when the U.S. is being held hostage to the roller-coaster ride consumers are being taken on by imported crude oil.

During the recent “Count on Coal” rally held by coal miners and other coal supporters who rode buses to Washington, D.C., to show their support for their region’s most precious natural resource and listen to speeches by their elected officials, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., addressed the role historically played by coal as an energy source for the nation.

“Coal miners are the backbone of America. Coal is the most reliable, dependable and most affordable energy resource we have,” Manchin said. “Forty percent of the people in America depend on what you produce every day.”

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., spoke about the role played by coal as a fuel for electrical generating plants.

“Coal keeps the lights on,” McConnell said. “Without coal, America would be in the dark, and we’re not gonna let that happen.”

America’s coal miners and their employers are not asking for special treatment, far from it.

All they want is for government regulators to maintain the status quo, allow them to go to work every day, earn a living for their families and supply the nation with the coal it needs to remain energy independent.