- About FOC
Appalachian Institute student intern Grace Williams, contributed to this news release.
WHEELING, WV, Oct. 11, 2010 — Wheeling Jesuit University’s Student Life Department, the Rev. Clifford M. Lewis, S.J. Appalachian Institute and the WJU First Year Experience team will host a moderated forum about the benefits and costs of coal at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2010 in Troy Theatre, located in Swint Hall.
The forum is open to the public and will feature Chris Hamilton, senior vice president of the West Virginia Coal Association and co-chair of the Mountaintop Mining Coalition, along with WJU professor and environmental scientist Ben Stout and the Rev. Dennis Sparks, director of the West Virginia Council of Churches.
Hamilton is an official Friend of Coal and Sparks represents a group that took a stance against mountaintop removal mining recently.
“This forum will be a good opportunity for students to see firsthand the difference between the industry of coal and the environment of coal, and the benefits and implications it has for West Virginia,” said Rob Kulpa, director of Student Life. "It's an opportunity for students to learn more about a controversial topic, significant in Appalachia."
Participants will have an opportunity to voice their own opinions on coal mining and coal burning, and the effects on the Appalachian community, environment and economy.
The Friends of Coal is a volunteer organization that consists of both West Virginians and others. Membership is free and the group works to inform and educate people about the coal industry and its vital role in the state's future.
The 130-year-old Council of Churches is the oldest, largest and one of the most powerful religious groups in the state, representing nearly 3,000 Christian churches of various denominations, with nearly 600,000 parishioners among them, or roughly one out of every three residents of the state.
The coal forum is open to students, faculty and all Wheeling Jesuit community members, as well as the general public.
The Association and Friends of Coal are participating in the dedication ceremonies for New River Community and Technical College at Ghent, WV on Friday and Saturday. New River has a new, expansive training facility adjacent to the Turnpike at the Ghent exit (#28). *** Presentation of State Championship trophies to the winners and runners-up in the cross-country state meet at Cabell Midland High School in Milton. Trophies will be presented in each of the three classes. ***
I have lived in Wolfe County my entire life, and until this past year, we have never had a park. Because of coal severance money (the money Big Coal companies give back to communities), we were able to build a park. Those big coal companies help many eastern Kentucky counties by improving hospitals and roads, funding volunteer fire departments or upgrading schools, among many other improvements.
The Friends of Coal are urging everyone to be responsible citizens and vote November 2. This election is vital to the future of our state and our nation. Decisions will be made in the next Congress and our state Legislature that will impact our people for generations.
Make your voice heard! Vote November 2.
The Friends of Coal is continuing its outreach efforts on several fronts into the fall. In addition to a full schedule of conferences and events planned for the fall, the organization is hosting various groups of college students interested in learning about the industry.
Next week, the Friends of Coal will meet with a group of students from Nebraska in conjunction with Wheeling Jesuit University. In addition, we are continuing planning for another in our series of regional coal symposiums. The next one is being planned for southern West Virginia within the next few weeks.
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