Posts Tagged ‘coal’
Tags: cartoon, coal, Congress, economy, guns, jobs, NRA, Obama
Tags: banks, capitalism, cartoon, Catholic Church, coal, environment, fracking, mountaintop removal, pope, SEC, Wall Street
Tags: coal, election, Murray Energy, politics, Romney, United States
This week, students in one of my courses are reading Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson’s Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer—and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class. And they’re having a hard time with it, finding it difficult to believe that the super-rich exercise enormous control over both the economic and political systems in the United States.
And then there’s Robert Murray [ht: sm], chief executive of Murray Energy Co., the largest privately held coal company in America, who has just decided to lay off more than 150 workers—and to blame the layoffs on Obama!
“The American people have made their choice,” Murray said in what he called a prayer that he delivered at a staff meeting at which he discussed the layoffs. . .“We are a country in favor of redistribution, national weakness and reduced standard of living and lower and lower levels of personal freedom…. The takers outvoted the producers.”
According to Stephen Lacey, Murray organized a fundraiser for Mitt Romney, eventually bundling more than a million and half dollars for the candidate. Murray also required his employees to attend an August campaign rally for Romney and to donate to Romney and to other Republican candidates.
Romney, in turn, expressed his support for Murray.
“You’ve got a great boss, he runs a great operation here,” Mitt Romney told a group of Ohio coal miners at a Murray Energy mine on Aug. 14, before launching into an attack on President Obama’s supposed opposition to coal.
Tags: cartoon, coal, environment, mining, Obama, politics, race, Republicans, United States, workers
Tags: coal, history, miners, protest, West Virginia, workers
One hundred historians and professors (including my friend Dwight Billings, native of West Virginia and past president of the Appalachian Studies Association) sent a petition to West Virginia’s legislators Monday, urging them to create a permanent park honoring the Battle of Blair Mountain.
Tags: coal, Kentucky, mining, music, workers
Kentucky miner Charles Scott Howard lost his job at Cumberland River Coal Company last May, after years of tangling with management over safety issues at the mine. Now, more than 13 months later, Cumberland was ordered to reinstate and pay damages to Howard in a decision by Margaret A. Miller, an administrative law judge for the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission.
The song was written by Australian folksinger Raymond Crooke.
Tags: Appalachia, banks, coal, crisis, debt, Europe, mountaintop removal, unions, United States, Wisconsin
Tags: coal, mining, mountaintop removal, protests
Police arrested more than 20 opponents of mountaintop mining [ht: db] at four U.S. House offices Wednesday, including six people from Kentucky who had pushed to meet with Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers.
Here is Teri Blanton, who was one of those arrested:
The Appalachian Mountains have been our home for generations. People have survived here for centuries and now the coal industry is making the land impossible to live on. These beautiful mountains are the oldest mountains on earth, and we need to protect them if we want to protect ourselves.
I want a well-educated, healthy future for Eastern Kentucky. My hope is that the people who have been producing energy for this nation for over 100 years will be a part of the new energy revolution. People need healthy, well-paying jobs that doesn’t destroy their lives or the lives of those around them.
I just hope our message will ring with my neighbors in Appalachia, and help them to realize that what we’re doing is fighting for our survival. Without clean air and clean water, we will not survive.
The photo [ht: db] was taken by photojournalist Katie Falkenberg, who gave it this caption:
Erica and Rully Urias must bathe their daughter, Makayla, age 5, in contaminated water that is the color of tea. Their water has been tested and contains high levels of arsenic. The family attributes this water problem primarily to the blasting which they believe has disrupted the water table and cracked the casing in their well, allowing seepage of heavy metals into their water, and also to the runoff from the mountaintop removal sites surrounding their home. The coal company that mines the land around their home has never admitted to causing this problem, but they do supply the family with bottled water for drinking and cooking. Contaminated and colored water in has occurred in other coalfield communities as well where mountaintop mining is practiced.
Maria Gunnoe of West Virginia, an award-winning coal-mining activist, was questioned for 45 minutes by police on suspicion of child pornography after U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn’s energy and mineral resources subcommittee decided the photo she was planning to use in her testimony was “inappropriate.”
Tags: Appalachia, coal, gold, history, mountaintop removal, Romania, television
Romania has been the site of two major feuds in recent times—they’re remarkably similar to a third.
The first was the History Channel’s disappointing mini-series, Hatfields & McCoys, which was shot in Romania. As a friend explained to me, “They were cutting trees that looked like twigs compared to what the original forest in WV [West Virginia] would have looked like at the time.”
The second is the current feud over the Rosia Montana gold mine, which pits Canada’s Gabriel Resources, along with “2,800 locals, the mayor and county administration and President Traian Basescu,” against those who oppose the project, “a handful of residents, several church, environmental and human rights groups, the Soros Foundation and neighbor Hungary, which fears the consequences of any environmental damage.”
The current battle in Romania is remarkably similar both to the Hatfields and McCoys and to the feud taking place today concerning mountaintop removal in Appalachia. All three are examples, from different points in history, of a contest for social and economic control between local people and outside industrial capitalists.