>FOC: Upper Big Branch Fund

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>Friend of Coal,

As everyone across West Virginia and the United States now know, 29 brave miners were lost during a tragic explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine in the Big Coal River community of Montcoal, West Virginia. The Friends of Coal is proud to support the efforts of the Upper Big Branch Family Fund (www.upperbigbranchfamilyfund.com). The Fund was created by WVU Head Basketball Coach Bob Huggins and a group of young West Virginians. Every dime collected through the Fund will go directly to the lost miners’ families. Scholarships will be set up for their surviving children and families will be offered assistance to meet the financial burdens that often come with losing a loved one.

The miners lost are a part of our coal mining family. We are saddened by our loss; it is a loss that won’t soon be forgotten around Montcoal or in West Virginia. Coal mining is a proud West Virginia tradition – and one that provides millions with the energy needed to turn the lights on or drive a car.

As a Friend of Coal, we hope you’ll join Coach Bob Huggins in supporting the Upper Big Branch Family Fund. A donation of $10, $25, $50, $100, or even more will make a difference. Donations can be made securely online at www.upperbigbranchfamilyfund.com.

Again, every penny raised – every single penny – will be divided among the 29 families – to help with immediate financial burdens or to plan for higher education.

Coach Huggins has often said the greatest resource in West Virginia isn’t coal but our people. People who work hard and do right by their families. People like West Virginia’s coal miners.
This is a good cause and we hope you’ll give whatever you can. Donate easily online now or you may send a check to “Upper Big Branch Family Fund, PO Box 4444, Morgantown, WV 26505“. It takes just a moment and your kindness will make an incredible difference.

It’s times such as these that our obligation to be our brother’s keeper or our sister’s keeper – to be a good neighbor – is the most profound. Join with Coach Bob Huggins, the Young West Virginians for Coal, and the Friends of Coal in supporting the Upper Big Branch Family Fund today.

The Upper Big Branch Family Fund has filed as a 501c3 not-for-profit charitable corporation. Donations will be tax-deductible.

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>Friends of Coal "Alert!"

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WHO: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh
WHAT: Public Meeting for Nationwide Permit-21 Surface Mining
WHERE: West Lobby, David Lawrence Convention Center,
1000 Fort Duquesne Blvd., Pittsburgh, PA 15222
WHEN: Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009 at 7 p.m. (Registration begins at 6 p.m.)

PLEASE PLAN TO BE THERE EARLY TO SECURE YOUR SEATING AND MAKE YOUR PRESENCE KNOWN

Like the meeting in Charleston, the purpose of the hearing in Pittsburgh is a Corps of Engineers’ proposal to suspend the use of Nationwide Permit 21 in West Virginia and the other Appalachian states. It is simply another example of EPA “forcing” another agency to accept their “anti-mining” viewpoint! NWP 21 is an important part of the mine permitting process that EPA doesn’t like, but gives no “real reason” why. Suspension of this NWP 21 will make permitting much more difficult.

It is another example of EPA using the Corps of Engineers as a front to bring “death to Appalachian coal mining through a thousand cuts” and take the jobs of our people and interrupt their families and their livelihoods.

We must join together to let the folks in Washington know the devastating impact this will have on our people living across West Virginia and the Appalachian coalfields.

If you have questions or need more information please call the West Virginia Coal Association at 304-342-4153.

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