In his recent letter, Patrick Grenter of the Center for Coalfield Justice made wild accusations about our company’s motivations, actions and patriotism. His letter revealed the organization’s true colors and only serves to poison what should be a rational discussion as to how we will meet our growing energy needs as a country.
So, instead of making baseless claims about motivations, let’s talk about facts:
Consol Energy turned 150 years old this past April. That sort of longevity doesn’t happen in any industry without strong partnerships and relationships in the communities where you do business. We work, live and raise our children in these same communities, and we’re proud of the work we do and the benefits it affords society.
Consol Energy employs approximately 2,500 people at our Bailey Mine complex in Greene and Washington counties, with nearly 400 new jobs directly associated with the Harvey Mine. Direct expenditures into the local economy from wages, benefits and goods and services purchased totaled approximately $1.1 billion last year. Between corporate taxes paid as a result of activity at our Bailey complex and taxes paid by our employees, $56.7 million was received by the commonwealth and local governments in 2013. We also reinvested over $5 million into our regional communities through our charitable giving programs in 2013. In sum, this complex provides an annual economic impact to the region of over $3.5 billion.
Further, our employees mine the coal that powers everyday life, and they do it in a safe and compliant manner. The Bailey complex is built to compete in today’s evolving energy industry. It is the largest underground mine in North America and one of the safest, most efficient and most productive coal complexes anywhere in the world. Our safety record at Bailey is, consistently, nearly twice as good as the industry average. This complex will be running strong and contributing to the region for decades to come.
In contrast, what has the Center for Coalfield Justice contributed to our communities?
Grenter’s letter made clear they have no regard for the 2,500 employees at the Bailey complex. Their mission is to prevent good jobs like these from ever being created in the first place, to destroy the jobs that currently exist and, ultimately, to completely halt the production of domestic energy and the broad-based benefits associated with that production. It’s a viewpoint based on an extreme ideological philosophy. They pose as a small, grassroots organization, but are essentially a front for big money, environmental special interests.
Put simply, the Center for Coalfield Justice’s contribution to our region is working every day to put good people out of a job and preventing others from ever getting a chance to make a family-sustaining wage that jobs in energy provide. What’s American about that? We’ll match our record against the Center for Coalfield Justice any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
Aloia is the general superintendent of the Harvey Mine.