This letter is in response to the June 25 story, “Consol dedicates BMX Mine in honor of executive chairman.”
How many people still believe former Consol Energy CEO Brett Harvey’s empty claim that the energy the company produces is “red, white and blue”? This transparent attempt at wrapping themselves in the flag reveals Consol’s only priority: the ruthless pursuit of profit at the expense of everything and everyone else. This is a company without a conscience.
What is American about the relentless destruction of streams? Consol’s own recent permit application for an expansion of the Bailey Mine admits that flow loss as a result of mine operations “would most likely reduce, if not eliminate fishing opportunities” in Ryerson Station State Park. At least nine Greene County streams are under grave threat from being undermined in this plan, with up to another ten in the permit area at risk as well. This is all in the wake of the lost but not forgotten Duke Lake, still dry nine years after Consol’s destructive operations caused the dam to fail due to mine subsidence.
What is American about passing the buck on their obligations to their retirees? More than 1,100 Consol retirees will be losing their medical, prescription drug and life insurance benefits by the end of the year following a sale to Murray Energy. “Unfortunate” is the way Consol explains Murray’s decision, as if it is someone’s good fortune to receive the care and benefits they were promised while they toiled away their lives in an industry whose disregard for human life has been proven and documented for well over a century.
This is wrong.
Instead of sitting around and cheerleading corporate greed, our state officials like Secretary Chris Abruzzo of the Department of Environmental Protection should be holding the industry accountable for its disregard for the communities in which it operates. The Harvey Mine dedication doesn’t look like a celebration to me. Rather, it looks like a monument to a company run amok.
Grenter is the executive director of the Center for Coalfield Justice.