Saturday, July 23, 2011

Coal Mining Shrug

Noting my recent Not Working In The Coal Mine post, jb posts a juxtaposition to consider, which links over to a post at David McElroy’s blog titled ‘I’m just quitting’: A scene right out of ‘Atlas Shrugged’ in Birmingham wherein this can be read.

My name’s Ronnie Bryant, and I’m a mine operator. I’ve been issued a [state] permit in the recent past for [waste water] discharge, and after standing in this room today listening to the comments being made by the people…. [pause] Nearly every day without fail — I have a different perspective — men stream to these [mining] operations looking for work in Walker County. They can’t pay their mortgage. They can’t pay their car note. They can’t feed their families. They don’t have health insurance. And as I stand here today, I just … you know … what’s the use? I got a permit to open up an underground coal mine that would employ probably 125 people. They’d be paid wages from $50,000 to $150,000 a year. We would consume probably $50 million to $60 million in consumables a year, putting more men to work. And my only idea today is to go home. What’s the use? I don’t know. I mean, I see these guys — I see them with tears in their eyes — looking for work. And if there’s so much opposition to these guys making a living, I feel like there’s no need in me putting out the effort to provide work for them. So as I stood against the wall here today, basically what I’ve decided is not to open the mine. I’m just quitting. Thank you.

I am not certain where McElroy obtained the above quote, though he does link to this news article which reports on a recent meeting in Birmingham, Alabama discussing the subject of pollution, but it does not mention Ronnie Bryant of Warrior Investment Company by name.  I did find another news article, though, titled Water, soil pollution problems brought to attention of federal leaders, which mentions Ronnie Bryant by name, and provides this quote from Bryant which appears to fully support the quote McElroy posted.

“There’s so much opposition to these guys making a living that I feel like that there’s no need in me putting out any effort to provide any work, and so as I stood against the wall here today, basically, I’ve decided not to open the mine,”... (bold by ed.)

That’s a coal mining shrug.

Posted by John Venlet on 07/23 at 01:26 PM
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