Are you ready for this? One of the largest coal companies in the United States wants to dig a coal mine directly underneath Buckhannon-Upshur High School, in Upshur County, West Virginia.
The Upshur County Board of Education is leading the opposition to the proposed mine, citing concerns about the possibility of explosive methane gas leaking into the high school. The Board said last month it will "take all necessary steps to ensure the health and safety of its students and staff."
Putting children's well-being at risk in order to mine coal is unconscionable. And the best way we can help the Upshur County Board of Education block this mine is by building very public pressure directly on Arch Coal and its leadership to stop this irresponsible plan.
Tell Arch Coal CEO Steven Leer: Don't endanger schoolchildren by mining under a high school. Click here to automatically sign the petition.
Of course, International Coal Group, which merged with Arch Coal last month, says the 1,800 acre mine underneath the high school will not pose a risk to the kids. But the coal industry has less than zero credibility when it comes to protecting human life.
This is the same industry that has raked up thousands of safety violations from the Mine Safety and Health Administration in the past year. It is clearly an industry we can't trust with anyone's safety. And for all the risk, this ill-conceived plan won't even produce that much coal.
In 2009 Arch Coal mined more than 148 million tons of coal, making it the second largest producer in the United States.2 Since then, with the acquisition of International Coal Group, it has grown even larger. Surely the company can afford to cancel their plans to mine underneath Buckhannon-Upshur High School, which would only produce one million tons of coal per year.
Arch Coal needs to hear from concerned Americans that putting children in danger in order to mine more coal is totally unacceptable. I hope you'll send that message by signing our petition today.
Tell Arch Coal CEO Steven Leer: Don't endanger schoolchildren by mining under a high school.
Thanks for speaking up to protect schoolchildren from big coal.