Bristol Herald Courier and Their Anti Coal Opinions
I don't have a problem with opinion page columnists writing what they feel. I do have a problem with shoddy reporting and one sided opinions that lack facts. The Bristol Herald Courier and Andrea Hopkins are examples of this. Her recent (there have been several) anti coal editorial reeks of bad or no research. You can read it here.
Ms Hopkins tours the county with a anti coal activist and gleefully points out the destruction of strip mining. She looks at a active mine on Black Mountain and complains she does not hear birds singing or see animals moving. A insightful observation for February. I wish I had a nickel for every bird, deer, and varmint I have taken on and around mining sites. I am sure her tour guide did not point out all the reclaimed land they passed to see this active mine. I am sure it was not pointed out that most all of the developed land around here was once stripped of coal. Most all of the shopping centers and the new businesses are built on former mine sites. There are now housing projects, farms, and businesses occupying former mine sites. Sure, there are some ugly remains from the strip mines of years ago. That all changed with reclamation laws. To view a active job and impose judgment is absurd. When the job is complete and reclamation is in place is the time to judge.
The real absurdity about this whole thing is that strip mining is on the way out and has been for years. The vast majority of the remaining coal in Wise County is not surface coal. This information is readily available to the public and Ms Hopkins. It is a shame she does not report that info. It is a shame she looks at one active job and forgoes the many she drove by and never noticed because people live and do business on those reclaimed sites.
The reality of this was shown at the last meeting in St Paul concerning the new Power Plant I wrote about here. Over 600 coal and power plant supporters were present. They turned in 1200 more letters of support for the power plant and the coal that will feed it. These supporters are not newspaper editors from Tennessee or Sierra Clubbers from California, but Wise County residents who live, work and raise families here. We breathe the same air and drink the same water. We love this county as much as anyone. We understand the coal industry and the benefits provided by it. While the BHC and Ms Hopkins love to take the tour with the handful of residents who oppose mining and the power plant, they ignore the overwhelming majority of residents who disagree with them. Overwhelming majority is a understatement. So if the majority of the hard working tax paying residents of Wise County support mining and the power plant why cant they? It is becoming clear that this is really about their hatred of Dominion Power masked by this false sense of caring for what is best for the people in Wise County.