Coal Tattoo

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This just in:

Senator Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) today announced that several staff members from his Charleston and Washington, DC offices are on a three-day fact-finding tour of portions of West Virginia to view first-hand mountain-top mining operations.  Byrd’s statement follows:

 “During the next few days, several members of my Senate staff from both my Charleston and Washington offices will be touring portions of West Virginia to view first-hand mountain-top mining operations.  These staffers, while engaged in their fact-finding mission, will also be meeting with coal industry representatives, as well as members of the environmental community and other concerned citizens.  During their visit, they are also expected to evaluate the on-going flood recovery efforts, and discuss concerns expressed to my office about the impact of mountain-top mining and the severity of damage from the recent floods.”

“While I am personally unable to participate in this tour at the present time, I have instructed these staff members to be my eyes and ears on the ground and report back their findings and the results of their discussions in an effort for me to obtain the most up-to-date information on the issue of mountain-top mining.  With the recent announcement from the Obama Administration that it is planning to increase federal oversight of the mining operations, I believe it is imperative for my staff and me to hear from all interested parties in West Virginia as we move forward on this debate.”