Saturday, December 5, 2009

Perhaps Bill Raney Has Coal Dust in His Ears

Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) issued a statement in the form of an opinion piece, where he reiterates his commitment to keeping West Virginia working, but says the coal industry has to modernize and there's "a diminishing constituency in Washington for mountaintop removal". He also cautions industry leaders to stop fanning anger and fear, by characterizing improved methods and regulation as a threat to jobs.

Senator Jay Rockefeller echoed Senator Byrd's sentiments;

"There has been some pretty inflammatory statements from the coal industry, not all of it, just a few people, that is scaring the heck out of people in southern West Virginia," Rockefeller said during a conference call to discuss U.S. Department of Energy funding for clean coal projects in West Virginia, Texas and Alabama. Such projects will keep coal vital, he said, not fear mongering. "This is really all about opportunity for West Virginia."

While Bill Raney of the National Mining Association replied;

We absolutely remain focused on making sure that our people continue to work and certainly welcome the senator's involvement. Clearly the coal will come from someplace. We want our West Virginia to be mining coal. It's just absolutely critical.
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