AMCHornet wanted to hear me complaining and since I do that nearly every Friday, I am going to dedicate this post to her. She didn’t have anything in particular she wanted me to bitch about, so I’ve chosen to not do the 5 Things That Drive Me Crazy and instead focus on something that is really worth complaining about.
First of all, I must say, I work for a coal company so yes, my opinion is probably biased.
I live in West Virginia. West Virginia is coal country. You think people would know that by now? Yeah, well they don’t. People that have just moved here and holding protest meetings to try and shut down our mines. Why in the Hell would you move to coal country if you don’t like the fact that we do indeed mine? That’s like moving next to an airport and complaining about the noise.
Anyways, I learned yesterday that we lost our permit to mine. That means that right before Christmas, dozens of people are going to get laid off. Most of them were just hired in August when we obtained the permit. Some have been with us for years. In six months, I may not have a job.
This is in large part due to coal haters. Our mine was once shut down because environmentalists thought we were killing bugs in a pond. Bugs! Bugs were chosen over the livelihood of many employees. Real, breathing people with real families to take care of. I hit 1,000 bugs with my car while driving to work every day, but no one has ever tried to take my license.
People are always trying to find a way to get money from us and when they can’t, they protest. We pay for any damages we cause. We reclaim every site we mine. Then usually give it away. One place that we owned, we gave away and now a school, a fitness center, and a fair ground is there. Concerts are held there all summer long. Fairs are held there. My point? We don’t totally ruin the land.
We pay lots of money to buy the land we mine. Sometimes we buy the land and the houses that sit on it. Granted, the home owners have to then move, but they didn’t have to sell to us. And it’s not even those people, whose lives are uprooted and they have to start over that complain. No, it’s the neighbors that don’t like the noise of the coal trucks. They don’t like the dust that the trucks create. They don’t like when the ground shakes when we blast. Those are the top complaints.
Don’t move across the street for a coal mine and then complain about the noise.
If they don’t like the dust, they need to call the trucking companies (for we own no coal trucks) and complain to them.
By law, we are required to give them the option to complete a pre-blast survey. So that means, when we use a bunch of explosives to break the land, they are entitled to fill out the survey, have someone come assess their home and then if we cause any damage, we promptly fix it. And it’s the people who didn’t fill out the surveys that complain. I’d say they had a crack in their foundation before the blasting ever started and they are trying to get us to pay for it.
If these same people who attend every meeting about the coal companies would also attend every meeting about cutting down trees to build strip malls, putting up apartments for the college students everywhere you turn, removing our green earth to put in a parking lot, and gasoline and diesel fuel polluting our air I probably wouldn’t complain. But these people are focused on one thing and one thing only. Coal.
They don’t realize by them complaining about bugs and dust that they are actually causing many families to do without because their husband or wife has just been laid off. Kids may not get to even have much of a Christmas because parents have no idea how long it will be until they find a job again. I know even without children, I will lose a lot. Not to mention the co-workers that I’ve been with for years and have become like family to me.
My message to them? Just leave us alone! WE GIVE YOU ELECTRICITY FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!
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