Concerned about coal's community impact


Last week a TV special showed where Germany is getting the coal to generate electricity. The documentary told that 40,000 union workers were fired from union jobs tunneling under the Appalachian Mountains for coal. Now coal is scrapped off the top of the Smokies by non-union workers. We used to think coal miners were poor, but now many of them have no jobs and the coal heavy metals and sludge are a constant threat.

Local unions support the Gateway project because it will provide jobs. Will these be union jobs? Are the "miners" scrapping the coal out of the pit mines in Wyoming and Montana union workers?

Small local businesses provide more jobs and contribute more taxable dollars to the Gross Domestic Product than large corporations. I believe local communities and businesses will suffer economic challenges all along the route of the coal trains. The large corporations making huge profits from the Gateway project have said they will not commit to helping communities with these impending problems and because interstate railroads are federally controlled, the only recourse local citizens have is the final destination project, the Gateway Terminal.

What good is bringing down the national debt if our children and grandchildren inherit unlivable communities?

Donna Starr


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