On Aug. 22, Stephen Miller of Peabody Coaltrade, a subsidiary of Peabody Energy, the coal mining giant with the exclusive contract to ship coal from Gateway Pacific Terminal, wrote to our own County Executive Loews saying how "proud" they are to be "supporting jobs ... in [our] region."
I'm glad Peabody Whoever supports "jobs" since the United Mine Workers of America learned they don't support union contracts so much. The mine workers union is fighting to save health and other pension benefits of some 22,000 of their members and dependents as Peabody Energy seeks to dissolve its subsidiary, Patriot Coal Corp., in bankruptcy. Peabody created Patriot (Don't you just love the name?) a few years ago, transferred the benefits plans and some mining operations to Patriot, and now seeks to write them all off the books according to the UMWA Facebook page "Fairness at Patriot."
We must be mindful that SSA Marine created a subsidiary, Pacific International Terminals, to build Gateway. Given the volatility of Asian coal demand it matters that it is not the parent companies but disposable subsidiaries stalking us. Before we allow Peabody Whoever to dump 80 acres of coal next to our waters, we must ask ourselves if coal terminal jobs are really "good jobs now" since SSA Marine can do the same thing with Pacific International Terminals that Peabody Energy is attempting to do with Patriot Coal Corp.