Don’t blame Obama for coal demise

Your May 14 edition reported that, for the first time, a woman would be elected to the U.S. Senate from West Virginia. The report further stated that the Republican candidate was favored to win because most West Virginians don’t like Obama, who they blame for harming the coal industry.

West Virginia is the largest coal producing state in the nation, so I decided to investigate how many jobs are directly related to the coal industry in your state. Currently, the state population is running at about 1,850,000 people. Of that total, about 20,000 people are directly employed in the coal industry. I found that hard to believe so I checked multiple sources to confirm that, indeed, only about 20,000 people directly make their living in the coal industry. That is just a tick over 1 percent of the population. I know that each and every one of you reading this thought it had to be much higher.

In the world today, coal is a dying industry, being replaced by other energy sources, some just as toxic to the environment, others much more eco-friendly. The point being that Obama is not the cause of the decline, it is declining as the result of the free enterprise system that you all are in favor of except when it effects you. Do your research on each candidate and vote based on which one will be the best representative for your state. Voting based on who you hate is dumb.

Jim Russell

Ocala, Fla.

Jim Russell is married to a former Wood County resident.