Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition

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A Citizen's Letter to
WV Delegates Jon Amores and Joe Smith
Thursday, July 18, 2002

I was very disappointed that you voted against the Caputo Coal Truck Weight amendment yesterday. Although one can certainly feel sorry for coal truck drivers, who are pawns of the coal industry, desperate for jobs and woefully underpaid, I wonder how you can disregard the citizens of the coal field communities who live, daily, with terror from overloaded speeding coal trucks going through their communities? I wonder, too, how you can assuage your consciences for putting a continuing burden on tax payers for restoring infrastructure destroyed by the coal industry's greed?

I recently flew over the mountaintop removal sites, and a more sickening sight would be hard to envision. And, it still goes on. We saw overloaded coal trucks careening their way down the mountains and on their way through communities, most uncovered with tarp to prevent blowing coal dust from escaping. I have heard stories, for the past year, from coal field residents who have been suffering from floods, pollution, destroyed water systems, injuries, and deaths of family and/or friends. This would anger anyone with a conscience. There simply is no excuse for the renegade actions of coal company employers and employees.

When will West Virginians realize that they must wean themselves from an extraction industry which takes all and leaves little behind except destruction. It is both a moral issue and an economic issue. Nothing less than the future of young West Virginians is at stake. What will be left for them?

P.S. Delegate Smith: I was hoping that you would be retiring on a 'high note' by voting for this amendment. This is not a good legacy!

Kathryn A. Stone


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