Dear Madame Vice President:
Congratulations on your election victory and thank you for your service to the United States.
We watched with interest your recent interview on WSAZ television, which covers central-southern West Virginia, in late January. During the interview you highlighted the President’s “American Rescue Plan” and its goal of defeating COVID-19, providing relief to families, lifting children out of poverty, and creating jobs. These are admirable and necessary goals, and we applaud the Administration’s pursuit of them.
During the interview you highlighted the Administration’s strategy for rebuilding our economy, which included transitioning coal miners to jobs rebuilding our infrastructure and transferring their unique skill set to jobs in clean energy.
While all individuals appreciate opportunities to improve their situation, coal miners are proud of the work they do on behalf of the American people. They mine the fuel source to power more than twenty percent of the country and provide the primary ingredient used to produce the steel that built, and is building, America.
Our coal mining professionals receive some of the most rigorous and comprehensive training of any industrial worker. They attain high core competencies and advanced qualifications and perform their jobs with great pride and sophistication. Their contribution to our great state and the nation’s extraordinary quality of life is immeasurable.
I would submit that given the coal miner’s level of skill and proficiency and the ongoing need for the raw material they produce, that America should not seek to transition them to another career, and in fact, should embrace the vital role they play in powering and building this country.
I would like to extend an invitation for you to visit West Virginia and allow us to show you West Virginia’s state-of-the-art coal mining industry and provide the opportunity for you to speak with our hard working, highly skilled coal miners.
Thank you for your consideration.
Chris R. Hamilton