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Voice of the People

Dec. 10, 2012 @ 09:52 AM

Too bad that FOC was event sponsor

I cringed upon learning that Friends Of Coal (FOC) was a primary sponsor of West Virginia's high school football championship.

FOC lobbies purely for the multi-national coal companies that it is paid to represent.

They claim to be preserving jobs, yet their industry has exponentially diminished the amount of coal mining jobs over the past several decades as increased mechanization of the mines and blatant disregard for miner's safety has become the predominant operating procedures of the corporations they represent.

Parents can't sit by knowing these vast, destructive operations are poisoning our water supplies, polluting our air and about to destroy a very important part of our children's cultural heritage -- Blair Mountain, the site of the largest labor uprising in the nation in the early 1900s and a key event in the formation of the United Mine Workers Association.

Blair Mountain should be on the National Register of Historic Places, and should be a major tourist destination; our school children should have the right to visit and learn about their heritage.

Yet, it is FOC, financier of athletic events, which is willing to blow up this historic site.

Blair Mountain is now permitted for mountaintop removal mining, thanks largely to the lobbying efforts of FOC.

Robin Blakeman

Barboursville

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