“We’re going to promote and educate people about this war on coal,” explained Haven King, director of the pro-coal lobby Coal Mining Our Future.
King said the recent news that the Environmental Protection Agency rejected 19 permits for surface mining sites in Kentucky is proof that the coal industry is being targeted by the federal government. He said new federal water quality standards that have yet to be approved by Congress make it impossible for coal companies operating mountaintop mines to continue mining.
“It’s their policy,” King said. “It’s not the law.”
The planned rally set for later this month will not be the first. A similar rally has been held at the Knott County Sportsplex for the past two years, drawing several thousand people each time. But this year’s rally will have a few recognizable names attending.
Several speakers are scheduled to attend, including Sen. Rand Paul, King said. Other organizations such as the West Virginia Coal association will also have representatives at the rally.
Entertainment will include Halfway to Hazard, Bobby Osborne and Stella Parton among others. King added that he expects some athletes from the University of Kentucky to be in attendance as well.
“We’ve got some big things going,” King added. “We’re expecting 20,000 to 25,000 (people to attend).”
The rally is set for noon on October 22.