Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Community News Network

June 3, 2014

MConnell, Grimes waging modern 'coal war'


FRANKFORT — But Nelson, and Democratic state Senators Johnny Ray Turner of Prestonsburg and Ray Jones of Pikeville who are critical of Obama’s policies, say Grimes can do that.

And Jones said McConnell needs to explain why he should be considered an ally of the region. Pike County coal production, Jones said, had fallen from 34 million tons per year to 21 million tons annually even before Obama was elected and has since fallen farther.

“And Mitch McConnell never said a word about eastern Kentucky or the coal industry,” Jones said. Now, Jones said, McConnell wants credit for sponsoring a bill to protect the coal industry “but by that time Pike County had already lost half of its coal production.”

It’s a modern-day coal war. Who wins depends largely on who can persuade residents of the coal regions which of them is on their side.

Ronnie Ellis writes for CNHI News Service and is based in Frankfort. Reach him at Follow CNHI News Service stories on Twitter at



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