Group Questions Funding Of Coal Education

By: Heather Haley Email
By: Heather Haley Email

Hundreds of thousands of tax dollars are going to education about the coal industry.

Each year the state gives about $400,000 to promote mining.

State officials say tax dollars are sent through non-profit organizations associated with the coal industry.

Members of an environmental group say coal companies should pay for all promotional materials.

Mary Jane Adams is a retired teacher in Leslie County and says she does not agree with the materials sent out by the Kentucky Coal Association to education students about Coal Mining.

“They're really putting out misinformation for our children that how wonderful the coal industry is,” Adams said.

As a member of the environmental group Kentuckians for the Commonwealth.

Adams says it upsets her to know that tax dollars are given to the Coal Association to produce the materials.

“I don't think our state should fund it, and I don't think our tax dollars should fund it,” Adams said.

The President of the Kentucky Coal Association Bill Caylor says the tax dollars go to what they call "Coal Education Money."

“This is what primarily what the coal industry, coal operators, and companies pay, when they pay their real estate taxes on un-mined coal,” Caylor said.

He says $400,000 is set aside for the organization based on a statue from 1994 and they use the money for materials, a website, and other projects.

“We've had no way to educate the public about the coal industry, we try very hard to limit our education materials to just the facts,” Caylor said.

“The coal industry is the ones that is making the money, why are we helping them? We're funding whatever they want to put out their propaganda,” Adams said.

Members of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth say the tax dollars should not go back into pro-coal mining information and should go to other areas of the state that need funding.

Bill Caylor says the $400,000 is just a small part of the tax money from coal companies.

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  • by Jack Location: East Ky on May 19, 2008 at 07:36 AM
    What is wrong with a State promoting one of its largest industries? Millions or maybe even Billions of Tax dollars are put into Kentucky's economy every year. Our government officials have elected to putting a fraction of that towards promoting Coal mining because they know how important it is to the future of our great state. Kentuckians for the Commonwealth would rather see the end of mining in all forms. We have an abundance of natural resources in Eastern Ky. that if it is used wisely can benefit us all. Responsible mining practices are being used all around us, but I don't hear anyone promoting the hard work of our coal miners. All of us are dependant on the mining industry. Go look at the census for Eastern Ky counties and you will see that the population was greater when there were more mining jobs. I heard recently that the demand for coal is great but production will decline because of government pressures, brought to us by organizations like Kentuckians for the Commonwealth.
  • by any Location: ky on May 17, 2008 at 05:27 PM
    what are they in ky to make good money.
  • by Andy on May 17, 2008 at 05:27 AM
    So what,why shouldn't we promote our biggest industry.why shouldn't we educate our folks on coal, and its use's..But all we hear is the crys of old scoailist democrats crying for the end of all capitialism.
  • by William Location: Ky on May 17, 2008 at 02:30 AM
    My Father worked many years in coal mines,, and when he died of lung disease, I remember what they brought the family from his shirt pocket a book of bright colored food stamps I was 12 years old he was 73 you know that night when I looked at the only thing my father had to leave his family was a few dollars in food stamps after working his life away in coal mines it hurt almost as deep as my fathers death to see this was all he had, and in my grade school no one ever talked of coal miners and there family's now what is the Government wanting money for a coal miners story? or teach people about coal mining in Kentucky or chase people off there land now that gas is almost five dollars a gallon and build mansions where mining camps used to be and move people from south east Kentucky once they destroy the image of Appalachia people with groups like UNITE Heil Rogers with his Nazi flavored, elites destroy the moral and then the people then take the land for big mining business.


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