08 December 2009

The War over Coal in West Virginia

The Associated Press was among those on hand for Monday's appearance by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at the latest flashpoint in the debate over coal, a rally outside the state Department of Environmental Protection's Kanawha City headquarters.

"Kennedy spoke as some 300 environmental activists cheered," writes AP's Vicki Smith. "At the same time, 200 coal miners jeered. The groups were kept apart by a line of state troopers and metal barricades."

Smith set the stage for the scene: "Massey plans to blast and mine thousands of acres atop the mountain, which has enough coal reserves to feed power plants for 14 years. Organizations including Coal River Mountain Watch and Climate Ground Zero want Massey to stick with underground mining and allow the ridges to be turned into a 200-turbine wind farm."

The AP report also said that "Before taking the stage, Kennedy waded into the crowd of shouting miners and spent a half-hour debating Massey Vice President of Surface Operations Mike Snelling and others."

The Charleston Gazette also covered the event. So did MetroNews, which also has a separate item on Kennedy accepting Snelling's offer to tour a reclaimed mine site.

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