More layoffs are on the way for local miners. On Monday morning, it was announced that Ohio Valley Coal Company’s Powhatan Mine Number 6 will close permanently this fall.
Upon hearing the news, many people said they were sad. However, they had differing views on the reason behind the closure. Some blamed the Democratic administration’s clean fuel stance.
“I think it’s really unfortunate that what’s happening in politics today is really affecting our area, our local area and local coal mines. And how sad it will be for the families that live in the area to be without that income,” said Shayna Parsons of Powhatan.
Brenton Rife of Welch, West Virginia, said we need to get Democrats out of office. “We need to vote Republican. Donald Trump. He’s gonna change America,” he said.
Other people said they suspect it was a business move with an eye for the bottom line.
“I feel it was planned. It’s just now his opportunity. It’s going to hurt a lot of people in the valley but, he’ll shut down for a year or so and re-open it up as a non-union mine,” said Gary Blake of Powhatan.
One man in the pipeline industry said he sympathizes with the workers. “Hopefully they can find a job with the same pay scale,” said James East of Uniontown, Ohio. “I know there’s not much around here. I mean our industry’s kind of in the same situation their industry’s in. So I mean we’re all worried about our jobs as well. My brother works for Murray at Shoemaker and I know they never know what’s going to happen next.”
Many said they believe the Number Six mine has an abundance of coal left, and they hope it may re-open at some point.