I am now one of the few people who is actually doing anything to prevent the massive, uncontrolled growth of the coal industry.
I am a member of the National Coal Mining Association, which works closely with environmental groups to protect our public lands, waters and wildlife.
This is something I have always wanted to do, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to do in a country where the coal economy is so pervasive.
“We need to stop the coal train,” said Ira D. Ross, executive director of the N.M.M., at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on Thursday, April 15.
“It’s time to stop building coal trains, coal boilers, coal mines.
It’s time we stop building the coal trains.”
Ross is one of hundreds of coal industry officials who have come out against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, arguing that it will bring an influx of tar sands crude from Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf Coast, where it is supposed to be sold at a premium to foreign oil companies.
The pipeline would also be the first in the U.S. to pass through a densely populated and economically diverse part of Appalachia, which, along with many other areas, is home to a large number of communities and communities of color.
Ross, however, was quick to point out that the industry isn’t necessarily against Keystone XL.
In fact, he argued that it would bring jobs and investment to Appalachia.
The coal industry, which employs more than half a million people in the United States, has been fighting a proxy war over the project since President Obama proposed it in April, saying it would threaten jobs and threaten to kill local economies.
In the past year, however: The N.C.M.’s Ross and several other industry leaders have made a series of public statements, including a letter to President Obama, a video address to senators, and a petition signed by more than 30,000 people.
They have also made their opposition clear on social media.
It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter how quickly this can be stopped, Ross told reporters Thursday.
In a letter signed by Ross and others, the National Mining Association said that while they agree that the Keystone XL Pipeline is a “great opportunity,” it would be “an unprecedented effort to circumvent and bypass state laws and local decision-making.”
In the letter, the NMA wrote that “the Keystone XL project would harm not only our own region but would also have a devastating effect on the state of Kentucky and its people.”
The NMA added that if President Obama approves the pipeline, it will “cause untold suffering” in Kentucky.
Ross also said that he would not stop fighting against the pipeline until the administration makes a public statement in support of its decision to approve the project.
He noted that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) was involved in crafting and drafting the letter and that its goal is to pass anti-pipeline legislation in Congress and that he is committed to working with the Trump administration.
For now, though, Ross said, the only thing that will change the climate in Appalachia is if the U-Va.
students decide to stand up to the industry.
“I’m just one of thousands of coal miners in Kentucky,” he said.
“The only thing we can do is continue to fight.”
“The coal trains are still coming,” Ross added.
“But the coal is coming fast.”