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Coal’s Grand Old Washington Man Says Industry “Must Embrace the Future”

December 8, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Senator Robert Byrd (D-W. Va.) represents a state that made coal its state rock, but yesterday he reprimanded the coal industry for “scapegoating and stoking fear” and resisting change. He said, “West Virginians can choose to anticipate change and adapt to it, or resist and be overrun by it.” coal-train330

For one thing, the end may be near for mountaintop removal, Sen. Byrd said: “It is also a reality that the practice of mountaintop removal mining has a diminishing constituency in Washington… Most members of Congress, like most Americans, oppose the practice, and we may not yet fully understand the effects of mountaintop removal mining on the health of our citizens. West Virginians may demonstrate anger toward the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over mountaintop removal mining, but we risk the very probable consequence of shouting ourselves out of any productive dialogue with EPA and our adversaries in the Congress.”

And some form of climate legislation is coming, so be prepared, he said. “To deny the mounting science of climate change is to stick our heads in the sand and say ‘deal me out.’ West Virginia would be much smarter to stay at the table.”

– Suzanne Bopp

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