Rallying for Coal Mining Jobs

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Coal supporters in the Mountain State have a message for the government, and they're going all the way to Washington D.C. to make their voices heard.

Several bus loads of people left Charleston Tuesday morning on a mission of fighting for coal jobs.

Paul Brown has been a coal miner for 17 years. The career has been good for him, his family and his community.

“Nice schools, nice classrooms; we've put a lot of money into them,” Brown said. “The companies -- they're doing real good. The businesses are doing real good."

However, a few legislative road blocks have Brown and hundreds of other coal advocates packing their bags and heading to Washington. The problem: nearly 200 mining permits not yet approved by the EPA.

“If we don't get our permits, there's gonna be so many out of work," Brown said. It won't just hurt the coal miners; it's gonna hurt all the companies in Clay, Braxton and all of them."

Melissa Levo's husband is working in the mines and couldn't make the trip. So, she and their son Drake are speaking out for him.

“West Virginia needs to keep our miners so our state does not collapse, and we just need to keep our lights on,” Levo said.

The group from West Virginia will join others from surrounding states for the rally, which is set for 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol.

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