I should be tracking down people through fantastic web-stalking techniques (www.whitepages.com/) for a petition that was sent in about mining. I am from West Virginia. If you don’t know anything about WV, then I shall enlighten you.
1. We do lots of coal mining. It is one of our main sources of income. Mountain top removal is one of the techniques.
2. We are called the Mountain State. (Irony, maybe?)
3. We are completely walled in on all sides by the Appalachian Mts. I tell you, nothing comes in and hardly anything leaves. (Except me.)
4. We don’t worry about anything. (Except the end of mining, which for many, means Armageddon.)
5. Damn, we like Mountaineer Football.
6. The population is largely older people who don’t like change.
7. BRAIN DRAIN.
8. We are one of the poorest states in the nation.
For the record, I would like to state that I love WV. It is a good place full of friendly people who, for the most part, work hard to make ends meet. Citizens of WV sorta fill a stereotype of un-informed people with lots of opinions. Mostly, the opinion that things should not change. Somewhere, I know there is another generation screaming to be heard, but they are being drowned out by the rest of WV, that is, the older generation.
I know I sound unfair, but I’m one of the younger generation that wants that change. Heck, I voted for Obama. Working in the Congressman’s office, I deal with a lot of constituent letters. Right now, we have two main issues. Health care and coal.
Health care: I get a lot of letters that mostly say no to healthcare. I understand this, I wonder myself if it will help or if it will hinder. I’m willing to try it, I think, but I’m also not using my health care at the moment. (Thank the Lord I’m healthy at this point in my life.) But lots of people have just heard rumors and are going off those as if they are truth. Such as: Death panels for the elderly, everyone will HAVE to have the gov.’s plan and Obama is the devil. Cool, neh?
These letters also complain a lot about all the illegal aliens that we have in the country and how the new health care plan will provide health care for them at the cost of legal tax-payers. (It does not, I’ve looked at it.)
I will post more on the health care plan as I research it. Which I am going to, as I have now blogged about it.
COAL: It’s hard to be from WV and not know someone who is/was a miner. My best friend’s dad, who is like a father to me, is a coal miner. I don’t want anyone to loose their jobs. I would, however, like to find an alternate energy source and shift coal miners into those positions. Perhaps they feel that they are not able to learn new things and that causes people to freak out.
So, here is the current situation in the WV: The Environmental Protection Agency is reviewing several permits for mines across the state. I don’t know if this is true or if this is a fabrication by newspapers, but it appears that the EPA is taking their good sweet time reviewing these permits. Miners, understandably, are upset about this. They are protesting. They are calling for the resignation of Congressman Rahall because he says the EPA is just doing it’s job. They are crying out in anger that coal is what keeps WV afloat. Coal will always be a part of WV! etc., etc.
Yanno, until we run out.
Therefore, I have had many many many letters/newspaper articles about coal. I hate it when some journalists write things like “…the EPA claims that it has no covert plans to destroy coal mining.” Well, the populace most assuredly thinks so now! Do you get what I mean? It’s just stirring up trouble!
This is not to say that I believe that people shouldn’t pay attention and question everything and express their concerns. This is our freedom, this is our right.
However, some people don’t seem to have checked into anything and are just screaming. It’s rather annoying. Perhaps I’m just tired of reading about it. You must be too.
Some other sites with info/views to Coal Issues:
http://blogs.wvgazette.com/coaltattoo – Coal Tattoo Blog