( – promoted by lowkell)
A coal industry front group is sponsoring a rally in Abingdon on Saturday that is slated to include Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, Virginia U.S. Senate candidate George Allen, Virginia Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, Attorney General Ken Cuccinell and U.S. Congressman Morgan Griffith (VA-9). The group, which has existed since 2009 when they launched their effort with istock photos and no working contact information , is promoting the carnival-like event despite concerns from local residents about the impact of destructive coal mining on their health and the safety of their families.
Marley Green, a Virginia organizer for the Sierra Club and a someone who lives in the heart of coal country had this to say about the true impact of coal on Virginians:
“My neighbors and I are impacted by the coal industry everyday. From water contamination resulting from destructive mining practices to safety concerns for those living around active strip mines to those suffering from asthma who have to worry if pollution from coal will trigger an attack that sends them to the hospital.
Despite generations of coal mining in Appalachia, and promises of an end to poverty from the industry and politicians, the coalfield counties of Virginia remain some of the poorest in the nation. The hard-working people of Southwest Virginia should not have to choose between putting food on their tables and the destruction of the rivers they fish in and the mountains they hunt on.
We need our leaders to stand up for clean energy like wind, solar and efficiency that will create new jobs in Virginia and boost our local economies without the harmful health impacts of coal. You just have to look at the General Electric plant in Salem where Virginians are building wind turbine parts to see how renewable energy is already providing good jobs in the region.”
This is the true impact of coal.