I was struck today by an article I read in which Senator Jay Rockefeller and Representative Nick Rahall called upon Massey Energy to help move Marsh Fork Elementary School away from a coal processing plant. The article struck of such hypocrisy from the Senator and Representative that I had to laugh.
It amazes me that politicians from this state call upon the coal industry, or energy industry in general, to perform charitable deeds while attempting to put these industries out of business. They are essentially robbing these companies with one hand while begging for a donation with the other. With cap-and-trade and additional EPA penalties threatening all the coal industries in West Virginia, how can anyone expect them to make large contributions to charity? These companies are fighting for survival. The taxes on the energy industry is outrageous and new proposed taxes are being introduced everyday.
Massey Energy has a long history of charitable work. In May 2008, Massey donated more than $1 million to create a scholarship fund for college and post-graduate scholarships to help students from Central Appalachia communities pursue engineering and health care degrees. Massey Energy has donated a total of $80,000 to the struggling town of Cedar Grove. The town will use $75,000 to finish building a new park in the center of town, and the remaining $5,000 for athletic activities for middle school children and field trips for the grade school children.
That's only two examples of the charity work that Massey has done. There are several additional examples of the work Massey has done with charities. The same can be said with the other energy companies in the state. And yet the government continually attempts to punish these companies and undermine their ability to do charity work. How can a company that can't turn a profit continue to fund charitable events? It's not possible.
Oh, and for the record, the Senator and Representative were incorrect in their misrepresentation of Massey's position on a new Marsh Fork Elementary. Massey is willing to work with the Raleigh County BOE. The BOE hasn't decided to if they are pursuing a new Marsh Fork yet and will meet tonight to decide.