Last updated: August 19. 2014 2:12AM - 408 Views
Karissa Blackburn kblackburn@civitasmedia.com

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Two major coal organizations have recently announced that they will be merging together in the war against coal. For that reason, United for Coal is now part of Citizens for Coal.

The two organizations announced August 16 that United for Coal will be rolled into Citizens of Coal. UFC president Allen Gibson is stepping down with CFC President Roger Horton maintaining the leadership role of CFC.

In a letter to the editor, Horton explained the decision more in depth.

“Due to family health concerns, United for Coal Founder and President Allen Gibson recently reached out to me, asking me to take over his organization,” Horton said. “Allen is the beating heart of United for Coal and it is my hope that in some small way I (we) can lift the burden from his shoulders and carry on his good work. Make no mistake about it, Allen is irreplaceable and will maintain a role of his choosing in the new combined organization.”

Citizens for Coal is a grassroots organization based in Logan, dedicated to the protection and preservation of W.Va.’s coal mining jobs.

“About six year ago, I founded Citizens for Coal,” Horton said. “I did so because I believed that coal was coming under attack by this administration and our miners would soon face the toughest fight they had ever fought just to keep their jobs. I prayed I was wrong but as time has passed, it is clear that I was right. Since its founding, our organization has done everything possible to take the fight to the doorsteps of those responsible – the Obama White House, the EPA and the halls of Congress. We have also tried to step up and help those miners and their families who have lost their jobs. Last year our Miners’ Relief Drive was able to help hundreds of mining families meet their basic needs and have some joy for Christmas. We did a lot but not enough and this year the need is even greater.”

Similar in its pursuit, United for Coal was a group of concerned citizens working together to draw attention to the plight of the American coal miner, the families of the miners, and those left behind when a miner makes the ultimate sacrifice.

According to their mission statement, “We labor to protect the industry that not only feeds us but supplies the power that insures that America remains a viable and potent example of the bright light of liberty in an ever-darkening world. We are going to wake America up and make America aware that we all must be united for coal.”

Horton says that over the next few months they will be building a team comprised of representatives from West Virginia, Kentucky and Virginia.

“We want to make sure that all see themselves as equal parties in this effort because we stand stronger together,” Horton said. “Ultimately we want to build this group across the country. Allen has made a terrific start and we want to continue that effort.”

Horton wants to make sure that all miners across America know that they are not fighting this battle alone.

“We are with you,” Horton said. “We will do whatever we can to protect your (our) jobs and our way of life. We want you to know that there are people who care. We want you to know that there are people who you can turn to and count on.”

For more information about the organization, the merging of UFW or how to be involved with leadership, contact Horton at onearmrider@yahoo.com.

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