Letter to the Editor
by Ron Gregory
I am a coal miner in southern West Virginia and the last few times I have read your paper I have been infuriated at the articles I have read concerning coal.
Most are AP-type articles that complain of coal companies and there environmental impacts on our region even though the same people complaining are current or former miners.
Those same people do nothing for their own homes and local environments and often not have little regard for the environment until it interrupts their life.
Regarding the water article, I know for a fact that before being discharged that water has to meet certain State, federal and EPA requirements and is near potable if not potable then, so surely after some home filtration it would be of a quality that is more than potable.
From what I have seen, most of these coal companies are bogged down by excessive regulation and fines that per occurrence total more than some of our annual pay for often outlandish things that the common person has no idea about. Such as $20,000 for a life line reflector being a few inches off when if it were missing all together it wouldn’t be a show stopper. Or a spray on a miner being a few psi low obviously not grossly negligent $5,000 to $50,000, it is ridiculous.
Another view could be if these companies are so bad hundreds of local people work for them and only a few manage. Where does the responsibility of the average worker come into place?
When I work, I pay attention to potential environmental hazards and correct them before they become a company problem. I pay attention to my safety and others and don’t need an inspector to warn of hazards.
So, if you could do the local miners a favor, the ones that take responsibility for their own actions and pride in their work and in the companies they work for, and get some more facts, some real opinions from real miners, get the companies to tell their side, and find out what is really going on in our state’s coal mining industry.
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