11:27am

Sun June 24, 2012
All Politics are Local

U.S. Senator Speaks About Future of Coal

Americans heard something on the U.S. Senate floor last Wednesday that they haven't heard for nearly three years: a coal-state senator and longtime supporter of the coal industry speak eloquent truth to power. Sen. Jay Rockefeller's 16-minute speech was remarkable for its wisdom and candor. It echoed a similar address in 2009 by another West Virginia Democrat and longtime coal-industry champion, the late Sen. Robert Byrd. They both sounded like old friends trying to warn an alcoholic that his behavior had become unacceptably destructive, both to himself and to others.