Coal remains vital to the nation

Being told you may be handed a pink slip, even though you have done your job conscientiously, comes as a shock. It is one 1,522 local men and women have received.

As we reported, Murray Energy Corp. has issued government-required notices that the employees, who work in the coal industry in Ohio and Marshall counties, may have their jobs terminated.

A United Mine Workers of America official tells us he does not expect many of the jobs to be lost, however. Murray is involved in federal bankruptcy court proceedings, and the termination notices are “a procedural formality,” the union official believes.

Once bankruptcy proceedings are concluded, the company will be under new ownership. That could affect some jobs at operations now run by Murray.

Lost jobs in the mining industry have become a story repeated all too frequently. Nationwide, there are only about 46,600 miners — half the number of just eight years ago.

Blame many factors, including the national push for “alternative” energy.

We hope fervently that the UMW official is correct. Coal remains vital to our nation. For the sake of 1,522 of our neighbors — and their families — we hope and pray Americans will come to realize that before it is too late.


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