Anyone who reads it knows that Bray Cary’s newspaper is hardly a major voice for anti-coal environmental extremism … so you have to wonder what the coal association’s Chris Hamilton will say about today’s State Journal editorial.
Under the headline W.Va. Citizens Need to Look Beyond Coal, the paper’s editors say:
Coal is a major part of who we are, but we must expand our economy.
According to a recent report, coal reserves in Central Appalachia are running out.
Some smaller mining operations have been forced to close, and even giant companies such as Arch Coal do not paint a rosy picture for the future.
That’s a scary thought for West Virginia. For generations, many people in this state have derived their livelihood from coal, but it runs far deeper than that. Our state is synonymous with coal — it’s at the very core, both literally and figuratively, of who are. We’ve built entire cities around mines, and the men and women who dig it out of the ground have not only fought wars to ensure their safety, but, sadly far too many who made the trip underground never came back out.
The editorial continues:
Looking beyond coal may not be popular, but honesty is an important part of this debate. While we must never marginalize what has been the cornerstone of our economy, we have to be realistic about what we’re facing. We need to do all we can to give the next generation of West Virginians the chance to make a life for themselves and their families in this wonderful state.