It's time to revisit Obama's war on coal. He announced that he would destroy the coal industry. At the announcement that he had been re-elected to the presidency, the owner of a coal business in Pennsylvania announced the closing of his business and that all his employees would be unemployed. This has happened throughout the coal producing areas of the country.

One of the complaints of the coal enemies is that coal is a pollutant and adds to global warming.

I lived for five years within six miles of the Black Dog power plant south of Minneapolis. This plant produced the power for the Twin Cities and their suburban areas. It was fired by coal. The Black Dog plant added scrubbers to clear much of the pollution from their smoke stacks. Whereas the stacks had put out black smoke, it became a white or gray emission later.

Many homes were heated and got their electricity with the power produced.

In the years of my youth, we had a cast iron stove in the kitchen. It was the only stove in the house. This was in South West Kansas where very few trees grow. Cottonwood does not make a good fire and burns fast. When we could afford it, we purchased coal that worked great. When the coal was gone, we searched the pasture for cow chips to have heat and to cook.

In those pre-electric days, we could make toast by removing a cover over a part of the stove and holding a slice of bread on a long fork over the burner to brown it. When we were heating the cow chips, it gave a distinct odor and flavor to the toast. The coal fire was not as good as a toaster, but better than cow chips.

In 1947-48, I worked in two coal mines in McDowell Co. West Virginia. The only jobs available were in the coal mining industry. The work in the mines was not pleasant, but it was a job.

In the coal mining there was no discrimination. No matter what your skin color was when you went into the mine, every person coming out at the end of a shift was black.

Most of the country where mines are located were such that they could not be farmed. The only industry was coal related.

An exception to this is the area where the coal is near the surface and most of the mining is done by large machines. After the coal is removed, stripped, the land can be leveled and revert to agriculture. One area that I have seen is in southern Illinois near Carbondale.

Nuclear power plants will make power available for lights, heat and other power uses. From the decision to build one through all the challenges of negative groups and building, it takes from 10-15 years to get any power.

For many years the world has depended on carbon fuels to provide power. Much of the world still uses it without regard to restrictions. Most of the under-developed world will continue to use whatever they must, regardless of the world warming or other restrictions. China for instance probably could not create a program to halt the use of open fires and any other way to cook their food or to get heat.

God gave us coal and the ability to get it use it. It is sensible to try to control emission, but the government must be sensible and not result in bankrupting an industry that a great number of workers depend on. In addition, coal provides a vast amount of industry for our country and there is nothing to readily replace it.

With the hundreds of miners, and all its associated businesses (Boarding houses, service stations, company store, rental housing, trucking, and multiple other associated businesses, just the closing of those two mines would have a devastating blow to a large part of the country.

To country has a problem with the number of unemployed people. Every job must be protected and encouraged.

Bob Hickey

Blanket