Coal

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A fund for the future in West Virginia

AFSC’s West Virginia Economic Justice (WVEJ) program won a major victory in the 2014 state legislative session with the passage of a measure establishing a Future Fund, a permanent mineral trust fund created from a portion of natural resource severance taxes. “This is a campaign we’ve worked on with key allies for about four years,” WVEJ Director Rick Wilson said. “The bill is not perfect because it was amended and weakened late in the session, but we hope to strengthen it next year.

Coal-country teenager wants better resources to keep peers in school

Kyra Wells

ACE participant Kyra Wells.

A sophmore from Logan advocates for teens at the West Virginia Capitol.

On Memorializing Miners

Last week a friend and I visited the memorial dedicated to the miners who were killed in the 2010 Upper Big Branch mine disaster. The massive 48-foot granite structure with 29 ghostly silhouettes is a powerful tribute to the lost miners and to the industry that has been so dominant in the Appalachian region.

Upper Big Branch families plead for Congressional action on mine safety

Carrying enlarged photographs of their lost loved ones, family members of three of the 29 miners killed in the 2010 explosion at West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch mine spent June 6-7 in Washington, D.C., pleading with lawmakers to take action to improve mine safety and to stiffen penalties for mining companies that knowingly, willingly, and recklessly place miners’ lives at risk.

Students Learn About Battle of Blair Mountain

During their summer break, students from the ACE mentoring program in Logan County toured Southern Community and Technical College where they learned about all the different college options available right in their backyard.  After the tour, we took a trip over the mountain to Blair Community Center and Museum.  The students learned about the historic labor struggle known as the Battle of Blair Mountain, coal mining's effect on water quality, and what life was like in the coal camps of Logan County.  

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