Why would homeowners in Richmond get frazzled over a bill related to coal mine disputes in far Southwest Virginia? Some of them received letters asking them to sell their mineral rights to coal companies interested in use of empty mine shafts beneath their property. The letters were part of a publicity campaign by opponents of a new law that gives coal companies greater access to vacant mine voids. Mine companies say it was a scare tactic that falsely suggests the impact of the legislation extends beyond areas with active mining operations.
This week’s Point/Counterpoint features guest columnists discussing the possible effects of the law. They are Dan Radmacher, former editorial page editor of The Roanoke Times, and Thomas Hudson, president of the Virginia Coal Association. Be sure to look for it in Sunday’s Horizon section.
Meanwhile, you can read an article about the mailings in Richmond Magazine.