Kanawha Valley Labor Council, AFL-CIO
Sue Thorn supports coal miners
Coal is a big part of West Virginia's history, economy and future. Rep. David McKinley has been airing commercials that state his unerring support for the coal industry. He is without question a friend of coal producers, but is he a friend of coal miners?
It is abundantly clear the coal companies are impressed with Rep. David McKinley. He has received contributions from Arch Coal, Consol, Mepco, Don Blankenship and Murray Energy. Murray Energy owns the Crandall Canyon mine in Utah, which was recently fined $1 million for violations that directly contributed to the deaths of six coal miners. McKinley received more than $21,000 from Patriot Coal. Obviously, David McKinley is a friend of coal companies.
Coal miners should be aware that Rep. McKinley voted against the Coal Mine Safety Act introduced by Senators Rockefeller and Manchin. Instead, McKinley voted for a watered-down version introduced by Rep. Shelly Moore Capito. McKinley voted against federal regulation of combustible dust. A coal dust explosion killed 29 coal miners at Upper Big Branch. McKinley voted for H.R. 4078, a bill to dismantle the federal regulatory system and halt all new regulations costing more than $50 million. McKinley voted for the bill, and against an amendment by Rep. George Miller to exclude combustible dust regulation from that legislation. McKinley also voted against an amendment to exclude regulations regarding black lung disease.
Sue Thorn supports coal miners, the working class people and us common middle class folks. Sue Thorn is an excellent choice to replace David McKinley in Congress.