Coal mining has been a part of the Tri-State including western Kentucky for a long time, but that could be changing. Kentucky Congressman Ed Whitfield talks with coal miners in Ohio County about his claim that President Obama’s efforts are to eliminate coal production in the country.
They are a big family, they look out for each other, and they spend a lot of their time here. These are the miners at Armstrong Coal.
“I feel like we provide a good service for the community. You know all these people that are against coal, need to remember the coal miners every time they flip a light switch on, turn their air conditioner up. I really feel good here. I like my job,” Keith Blake said.
The Equality Boot Mine is a surface mine. Officials said they produce 300,000 raw tons of coal a month. The mine is located near Centertown in Ohio County. Blake has been a miner for about two and a half years. He said it’s a good field to be in, but it’s not secure right now because of the government.
“As far as Obama, I probably need to watch what I say on camera about him. He’s killing us. Him and his administration are killing the coal miners,” Blake said.
And that’s why Congressman Whitfield said he came here to meet with these men and women about climate change and what he calls the Obama administration’s war on coal.
“I just want them to be aware precisely of what’s going on in Washington. The administration is trying to do this quietly in the dead of night and we need a public debate about it and we need it to be transparent and if we decide to go down this road, America has got to be aware of the consequences of it,” Congressman Whitfield said.
Kenny Allen is the Executive Vice President of Operations for Armstrong Coal. He said because the government is against their industry, this mine could shut down in the next three years.
“Well, in western Kentucky, the coal industry is extremely vital to keep the unemployment rate in check. If we lose the coal industry, in western Kentucky, it’ll be the most devastating thing to happen in my lifetime,” Allen said.
Allen said it’s hard to imagine this community without coal.
Congressman Whitfield said legislation is being drafted that would green light new coal power plants with some guidelines for the EPA.