Friday, March 06, 2009

Standing up to the anti-coal bullies

Coal is the lifeblood of southeastern Kentucky. We hesitate to think what Pikeville, Hazard and Harlan -- already economically beleaguered as it is -- would look like without the monetary shot in the arm "Black Diamonds" provide. And we shudder to think how much we'd have to pay for electricity without coal.

Yet there is no shortage of individuals and groups who want to, in essence, shut down the coal mining industry. They use every claim from "destruction of our irreplaceable mountains" to "global warming" to criticize coal. They have no concept of the economic damage they'd inflict on coal country if their efforts were ever successful. Whole communities in Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia and Pennsylvania would no doubt collapse or become ghost towns.

That's why we want to toss kudos in the direction of the management of Camp Blanton in Harlan County, who recently told two anti-coal groups that they are not welcome to meet at the camp.

Coal country needs more individuals and groups to stand up to the anti-coal bullies and thugs who will stop at nothing to rip the economic heart out of an already-impoverished area.

Go cry your crocodile tears somewhere else, Mountain Justice and Kentucky Heartwood. The damage you do to our way of life is far worse than the damage you claim coal mining (and logging) does to the environment.

We salute Camp Blanton for this courageous stand in defense of the mountain economy.

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