Howard Barnham

Old Senator, New Tricks
January 25, 2010

As a rule, politicians in West Virginia don't care for environmentalists. This is, after all, a state that supplies 50 percent of U.S. coal exports, a state where the mining industry is responsible for roughly 30,000 jobs—a state that essentially depends on pollution for its survival. And West Virginia's most prominent coal champion has long been Robert Byrd, who once slammed green critics of mining as "head-in-the-cloud individuals" out to destroy jobs and impoverish the region.