Let me start off my appologizing for my rant here. The mines I work for is probably going to be laying us off because those idiots at the EPA and the WVDEP dont want us mining anymore coal. Why? I dont know. I am a proud native son of the great state of WV. Everytime I turn around some liberal, tree hugging hippie is trying to starve my family to death. I am a 4th generation coal miner. If liberals had their way they would starve my family out. What do they want us to do leave the state so they can turn the whole thing into a national park. We have the opportunity to mine vast amounts of coal and drill for vast amounts of natural gas and assert some sort of energy independence. Instead these feel good enviro-freaks want to stop us. They set up in their ivory towers and have no idea what it is like to live like we do. If they spent a couple of years trying to provide a decent living for a family here they would see it as we do. What else are we supposed to do? Do they want the proud hard working people of my state to stand on the side of the road and sell arts and crafts? Maybe we can all learn to play banjos and flat foot for the tourists. There are only so many bluegrass albums the market can bear. People want to talk about alternatives for my states economy; to phase out our dependence on extractive industries. Talk all you want but I have yet to hear a good idea. You cant put an auto plant here because you cant find a flat acre ;except where they ripped the top of a mountain off and reclaimed it. I do not have the luxury of worring about what will happen in 100 years because I have a house payment to make today. For heavens sake let us feed and house our families by the sweat of our brow and the strenghth of our backs. I dont want a hand out or any sort of federal assistance. What we want is to be allowed to us the natural resources that the good Lord blessed us with to take care of ouselves. I know that we cant mine coal forever but lets use it while we got it.