"Felix Macacawitz" Reads Blue Virginia?

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Speaking of racists, it looks like George "Felix Macacawitz" Allen may be a Blue Virginia reader. Check this out by the highly paid shill for the climate change-denying, clean energy-opposing, fossil fuel industry-funded Institute for Energy Research, which Rush Limbaugh approvingly labeled the "energy equivalent of the Heritage Foundation." Nice.

Anyway, according to "Felix Macacawitz," the statistics on coal mining employment in Appalachia -- presented by Justin Maxson, president of the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development, in the Washington Post this weekend (and which we referenced here at Blue Virginia) -- are "misleading." How exactly are Mr. Maxson's statistics "misleading?" No alternative statistics are presented, only a reference to "the hundreds of thousands of American jobs related to American coal." Of course, the term "related to" is extremely vague and can mean anything George Allen wants it to mean.

The reality is that, in 2006, "there were 82,595 people employed in coal mining in the U.S.," of which 5,262 coal mining jobs were located in Virginia. This latter figure is in line with the statistics cited by Mr. Maxson, who reported that there are 2,537 coal miners in Wise County. So, in order to have an intelligent discussion here, what we need from the "other side" is some actual statistics of their own, as opposed to vague language about the "very good-paying jobs" provided by coal mining, and specifically by the environmentally devastating - and highly capital intensive, hence low in terms of labor intensity - mountaintop removal coal mining. So far, we've got nothing. Unless, that is, you count the (highly) paid shilling of the guy most famous for calling Indian-American S.R. Siddarth a previously obscure, now infamous, racial slur.