Coal Tattoo

Coal: West Virginia’s official rock

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That’s right — West Virginia’s top Friend of Coal, Gov. Joe Manchin, has signed a legislative resolution that declares coal to be our state’s official  rock, according to a report from The Associated Press.

This was House Concurrent Resolution 37, which had  46 co-sponsors. It passed the House by a vote of 96-0 (with four delegates absent and not voting) and passed the Senate by a voice vote.

Among other things, the resolution says:

The Bituminous Coal industry remains essential to economic growth and progress in West Virginia and the United States; and Whereas, It is fitting that a substance critical to the economic well-being of this great State of West Virginia and otherwise steeped in its history as Bituminous Coal be recognized as the official state rock of West Virginia … 

Coal was already listed as the state mineral of neighboring Kentucky.

The resolution in West Virginia was the result of a social studies project two years ago by Gilbert High School student Britnee Gibson. Apparently, the social studies fair was sponsored at least in part by CEDAR, which stands for Coal Education Development and Resource of Southern West Virginia Inc. Basically, CEDAR is an arm of the coal association that proclaims its mission as:

…To facilitate the increase of knowledge and understanding of the many benefits the coal industry provides in daily lives by providing financial resources and coal education materials to implement its study in the school curriculum.

(As an aside Britnee and the coal resolution got a mention a while back on the Dot Earth blog by N.Y. Times reporter Andrew Revkin, in a post where Andy was kind enough to promote Coal Tattoo to his readers).