West Virginia is a big state, and not everyone in it feels the same way. For many people, coal mining is a way of life and their source of income; for others, it is an eyesore and a safety hazard. And I’m sure some people feel both ways about it. As for the government and other organizations, they also interact with coal in different ways. The State EPA cites and safety or environmental issues to an extent, but in must make some allowance considering the amount of mining that goes on. The West Virginia Coal Association, of course, has a vested interest in promoting the coal industry, as well as taking the viewpoint that it can be done in an environmentally friendly way. Whether its seen as a viable future or a necessary evil, for many West Virginians, coal is just an unshakable fact of life: it’s where their power comes from, it provides 30,000 jobs directly and more indirectly, and coal companies pay over half the taxes that the state recieves.
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