WV Residents Speak Out on Future of Coal and Power Options
MONTGOMERY, WV (WOWK) – A survey on the energy economy of the Mountain State was conducted by Research America between June 21 and July 2 among 400 registered voters in West Virginia.
“The biggest indication from the poll right now is that West Virginia is proud of their energy heritage, but they are also seeing changes in the energy economy,” said Thomas Minney, West Virginia Nature. Conservancy.
“I just know that the more charcoal we use, the more charcoal we produce, the better off families are. It helps the community. It allows people to work, ”said Scott Williams, a coal miner.
The poll found that 70% of respondents from coal mining countries said the most important thing elected officials can do to help their communities is job creation. Another 14% said elected officials should support the coal industry, and 12% said lawmakers should invest in other clean energy resources such as solar or wind power.
“It’s not flat ground. It’s not a place you can bring in agriculture like you can from Kansas or Iowa. This is not the Midwest where the wind blows all the time. You can’t install these big windmills. It’s the Appalachians and it’s the resources that we have here, and it’s coal, ”said Mark Morris, a coal miner.
“Over the past few years, renewable and other energy sources have become competitive with coal,” Minney said.
Coal miners say they are using new techniques that are safer for the environment.
“From an environmental safety point of view, we don’t want to harm the environment. We do everything we can not to contaminate, ”said Williams.
The coal industry means more to West Virginia than just a job. Montgomery coal miners say it’s a way of life passed down from generation to generation, a way to support their community and maintain jobs for the state.
“Coal mining is a way of life. It’s a band, it’s a bond, and it’s hard for these guys who aren’t from here to figure out what these guys and girls do every day at the mine. What they do, what they do for this community and what they do for this state, ”Morris said.
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