Retired Miner Blasts St. Mary’s for Hosting Coal Lobby Group Head

Chuck Nelson at the Hobet MTR mine in Boone and Lincoln Counties, WV. Photo by Vivian Stockman

Chuck Nelson at the Hobet MTR mine in Boone and Lincoln Counties, WV. Photo by Vivian Stockman

Retired coal miner Chuck Nelson, a former OVEC board chair has this to say about St. Mary’s Center of Education hosting ACCCE:

By hosting the American Coalition for “Clean Coal” Electricity (ACCCE), St. Mary’s Center of Education is promoting dirty energy that inflicts serious health impairments on the public. This mirrors what John Hopkins Medical Center is doing (or was doing until days ago when they were exposed)– creating a major road block for miners with black lung, who are being denied their rightful benefits for a disease that is taking the lives of thousands of miners.

It seems that the reason that they are supporting this false propaganda that the coal industry is spreading is that they, too, are solely  interested in doing business, and making profits anyway possible. It’s all about the Bottom Line, even if it’s at the suffering and eventual  dying of workers and communities to make these profits. As if they are saying, “What the hell if it makes people sick, this means money for the medical profession.”

If this is the way that St. Mary’s operates, then it is hardly different than the way the coal industry has been operating for more than 130 years. If St. Mary’s really want to do the right thing, they would be telling the coal industry to tell the truth, that coal kills 23,000 Americans per year, causes 640,000 birth effects each year, that coal is our most destructive resource!  The U.S. is the leader in pollution, more than any other  industrialized nation, and we are also the leaders in the cost of healthcare, more than any other nation. Coal is the major contributor of that pollution, so what more is there to prove?  The science tells us coal pollutes and kills.

So St. Mary’s need to be held accountable for thier actions. It is shameful that St. Mary’s chooses to promote such a destructive industry, and by doing so, they profit in the same manner that the coal industry does.

— Chuck Nelson, retired coal miner.

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