Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Coal Mining and the Power Shift Organization

The following comment is one I left on the website called "Power Shift '09." You might have heard Glenn Beck talking about it on his show today, Tuesday, September 1, 2009. It was scary. One of Obama's Czars, Van Jones, spoke at their March convention. That was originally why I went to the website. I was watching Beck, and I got interested in what that Jones guy was saying. But once I got on there, I found articles about the Energy Bill, coal mining, and a specific story about some "tree-sitters" in West Virginia trying to stop Massey Energy from starting a mountain-top removal job. But I had just read yesterday that those people had been arrested, so I had to write a comment. And here it is.

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First of all, I am going to voice my opinion (and I hope you respect that). My husband works for a coal company (not Massey) who uses mountain-top removal as did my father. My brother drives a coal truck. My father-in-law, grandfathers, another brother, and numerous relatives past have worked in the coal mining industry, both above ground and underground. No, it is not perfect. But it has kept a roof over our heads, fed and clothed our families, paid our bills etc. for decades. And whether you want to believe it or not, the coal industry HAS gotten better at dealing with the environmental issues, safety issues, etc. Because if it had not, the United States would look like China. But China gets to belch out all of the unfiltered CO2 that it wants to into the same air that surrounds our planet, that every human being lives on, without any repercussions. As a matter of fact, the United States just keeps dealing with China as if nothing is wrong. But the hard-working men and women of America--who are trying to abide by the laws, who are trying to make ends meet and take care of their families--are just getting more and more restrictions laid on them to the point where it will be so difficult, if the Waxman-Markey Bill passes Congress, no one will be able to continue to work in the coal industry. And electricity will cost a fortune. So I ask you, where are these thousands of people in the coal-mining industry going to go for new jobs? I am serious about wanting to know your suggestions for jobs. Can you suggest some jobs equivalent to what my husband has now? The following is a break-down of my husband's job benefits:

--He grosses an average of $50,000 per year.

--Health Benefits (80/20) including Major Medical, Dental, Vision-- but Vision only covers one free check-up per year.

--The company carries $10,000 in Life Insurance on each employee.

--An optional 401k with the company matching 30% of what each employee deposits into his/her account.

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FROM THE CHARLESTON, WV GAZETTE:

August 31, 2009

MOUNTAINTOP-REMOVAL ACTIVISTS ARRESTED AFTER ENDING TREE VIGIL
By Ken Ward Jr.
Staff writer

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Two anti-mountaintop removal activists came down from a pair of Raleigh County treetops Monday morning, after a week protesting blasting by a Massey Energy mining operation.

Nick Stocks and Laura Steepleton were arrested after separately descending from the platforms where they took up residence Aug. 25 as part of an ongoing campaign of civil disobedience against mountaintop-removal coal mining.

The complete article can be found at the following link:

http://www.wvgazette.com/News/200908310837

With our country's economy in the condition that it is in right now (and not looking to get much better any time soon), what are your suggestions? That is why, to me, the above article is not such bad news.

Sincerely,

Pam Bartley

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