Senator McConnell Backs Coal.....Coal Owners That Is
If Big Business is a "Job Creator" then why hasn't it done more to create jobs that have been lost to Black Lung Disease? The disease is still with us. The presence of coal dust continues to destroy the lives and the jobs of coal miners, 70,000 of whom have died of the illness since 1970.
Eastern underground coal production is currently 1.37 tons per man hour as compared to 3.2 tons per man hour for surface mining. Productions rates in Western Kentucky are approximately the same for both methods. However, Black Lung Disease is now contracted at a younger age. All the time coal is becoming replaced by natural gas even in the production of electricity. There isn't even an existing miners' union in Kentucky. It is noted that seventy-percent of Central Appalachian coal production is unprofitable.
What has happened to the thousands of retired workers who sacrificed for their families in this dangerous occupation? Mitch McConnell says that he backs coal, or is it that COAL(OWNERS) BACK MITCH? Mitch has received over
$ 700,000 in campaign support from energy companies, but he himself has been far less generous in his support of coal miners. If he really believes that it is "my job to look out for Kentucky's coal miners", then why has he supported the Ryan budget cuts that would reduce one million dollars from the Black Lung Program? The same might be asked about his support of Ryan's proposed elimination of 100 Mine Safety and Health Administration inspectors. This measure would "put miners' lives at greater risk". Mitch is for eliminating ACA federal health insurance, even though it contains provisions for the coverage of Black Lung Disease.
Mitch would give the impression that Obama's administration is the sole cause for the financial crisis facing coal miner families, and not other transitions in the energy industry including the price of oil, gas, and alternatives. Meanwhile, what is he doing for those who have worked in the mines and are now in need of assistance? Speaking of that, what will Mr. Bevin do for coal miners, besides eliminating their health insurance coverage and mine inspectors?