By William Yeatman

Just because coal is an inanimate object doesn't mean President Obama's war on coal avoids human casualties. I witnessed the collateral damage to coal-dependent communities on Tuesday at the Charleston Civic Center in West Virginia, where hundreds of people gathered to demand that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) spare their livelihoods.

In Mr. Obama's war on coal, the most intensive front has been waged against a particular kind of mining, known as mountain-top removal (MTR). It involves blowing off the top of mountains to get at the underlying coal seams, and it is essential for the Appalachian coal industry's competitiveness vis-a-vis growing production west of the Mississippi. But it is anathema to environmentalists, a major constituency within the president's Democratic Party.

MELVILLE — Roger Ramey smiled as he stood on the landing strip at the Logan County Airport yesterday and watched the Hercules C-130 aircraft land.

Ramey, who retired after 20 years in the U.S. Air Force and is the senior board member on the Logan County Airport Authority, said watching the airplane land was a "dream come true."

"This is a lifelong dream," Ramey said. "When I was in the Air Force and stationed overseas in the 1970s, I heard through my parents that they were planning to build an airport here. I thought I'd spent enough time in the Air Force that I could come back to Logan and get a job at the airport. It didn't progress as big and as fast as I'd have liked and I spent 20 years in the Air Force and when I got out, we came back to Logan and I got a job with the railroad.