Can someone please kill me right now? I've been able to keep it out of my head up until now, but just the thought of the coal mining industry getting any good publicity makes me sick. There are people that do a much better job of making my point than I do, so I think I'll let them do that.
Large valley fills like the one pictured are created when mining companies dump waste rock and dirt from mountaintop removal mining operations into headwater streams. Over 2000 miles of streams have been buried in central Appalachia. Most of these fills have been illegally authorized by the Army Corps of Engineers, using a lenient nationwide general permit.
Coal mining has left a legacy of pollution in central Appalachia. Acid mine drainage destroys aquatic life and makes water unfit for human consumption and many industrial uses. For the first time, counter to law and with support of the Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining, West Virginia has issued a new mining permit that it knows will create perpetual acid mine drainage. The Center is working on many fronts to stop the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s irresponsible permitting practices. Photo is of acid mine drainage in Preston County.
I'm not mad at coal miners. I have a lot of respect, not to mention relatives that mine coal, for coal miners. It's the companies that make this happen, and the politicians and government agencies that look the other way.
I understand that everyone wants some sort of corporate sponsorship for everything these days, but the money each school is receiving isn't really all that much. I think I said it a lot better with a little help from a friend last year.
And that brings me to my point. This post was instigated by a comment from friend and former band mate, Xose, when he said of the "Friends of Coal Bowl",
"Friends of Coal" Bowl should use the more accurate title of "Out-of-state-corporate-interests that are here to rape WV and leave its inhabitants unskilled, uneducated and living on toxic waste dumps" Bowl.
Coal does a lot of good and bad for this state. The jobs and money it generates can't be easily replaced. However, a bi-product of coal is the destruction of our environment, and hundreds of coal miners die from black lung disease every year in WV. That just doesn't seem like something I want to celebrate or have associated with my Mountaineers.
I know there is a game to talk about, but I just had to speak my mind on all this before I go back to loving football. Please go back to feeling good about the fact that football season is here, and have a station picked out to flip to when commercials come on about the Fiends of Coal. Yes, that's how I spell it.