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Winds of Change
February 2003


 What Part Don't Coal Companies Understand?

Remembering Laura

Don't Despair - Organize and Fight Back Instead!

West Virginia Bill for Public Financing of Elections Advancing

Trick or Treat for George Bush - No War!

West Virginia's Clean Election Law - Let's Do the Right Thing and Return Honor to the Process

China - Nehlen remark unwise

Sylvester 'Dustbusters' Beat Up On Massey Energy

Massey Energy Subsidiary Denied Permit to Cover Another West Virginia Town with Coal Dust

Small Town Threatened by Huge Slurry Impoundment Proposal

Mothman Returns: Is He Sending Us Another Dire Warning?

Ken Hechler: A Hero for Our Time

Buffalo Creek 30 Years Later - Have We Learned the Lessons?

Legislation Introduced to Counter Bush Rollback of Clean Water Regulations

Whose Monument Is It?
Keep Miner, Ditch Industry Rhetoric at New Coal Memorial

World Social Forum Shows Commonality of People's Goals

The Field of Broken Dreams

Hey! The Truth IS Out There!

The Truth is Out There - Wayyyyyy Out There, in Massey Energy's Case

Honoring a Great Crusader


For viewing the PDF version


China - Nehlen remark unwise

Charleston Gazette, Monday Jan. 20, 2003

DON NEHLEN should stick with football. He is well on the way toward embarrassing himself as King Coal’s new spokesman.

Nehlen is to be chief spokesman for a massive public relations campaign paid for by “Friends of Coal.” At his inaugural effort, a speech before the West Virginia Coal Association’s annual symposium, the former Mountaineers coach sounded like a caricature of himself.

“The best defense is a good offense,” he said of the PR effort. “You guys are 10 or 11 and 0, and everyone talks like you’re 5 and 6. When you’re winning, we’ve got to let people know.”

Well, at least he said nothing about giving 110 percent to the effort. But the worst came when he essentially suggested that West Virginia follow China’s regulatory model.

“Let’s get some of these doggone regulations eliminated or at least made sound, so guys can mine coal,” he said. “I don’t exactly know the regulations, but I’m smart enough to know that in China, they mine for six bucks a ton, and we have got to be able to compete with them.”

China may mine coal for “six bucks a ton,” but the cost in lives and environmental devastation is enormous. China kills almost as many miners every year as West Virginia employs. Experts say that 10,000 Chinese miners die every year.

Those “doggone regulations” that Nehlen complains about help make West Virginia mines safer. Six-dollar-a-ton coal may be worth the price for the coal companies Nehlen is shilling for, but the human toll would be too horrible for most rational people to consider.

(Winds of Change Ed. note: Thanks to OVECs Viv Stockman for digging up the China mining deaths information which the Gazette used so well.)

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