Coal Mining Town Closely Watching Lawmakers' Trip to Washington

By: Rahel Solomon Email
By: Rahel Solomon Email

WHITESVILLE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- West Virginia lawmakers plan to fight for coal mining jobs during an upcoming trip to Washington D.C., according to a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

The group of mostly Democrats said they will meet with the Environmental Protection Agency to discuss how regulations have hurt coal mining jobs in the Mountain State .

Many in the town of Whitesville tell they will be watching the outcome of that meeting closely since families there have been impacted by coal mine layoffs.

“It's killed it, it's killing this county,” said retired coal miner Donnie Kile, referring to mining regulations.

Kile now helps run his son's business, The D& G Mart, along Coal River Road. He said the business is supported by almost 95 percent coal miners or their families.

“They’re just really worried, they're afraid to spend, they just get the necessities,” Kile said.

The EPA has said coal mining regulations are necessary for the safety of those who live in surrounding communities, but former school teacher Betty Williams said try explaining that message to the children of laid-off miners.

“There's a look of despair on their faces, which there shouldn't be,” Williams said.

Those delegates and state senators attending the trip to Washington plan to visit Aug. 1.

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