A comment Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., made to political blog Politico has sparked fierce backlash from conservative groups.
Rahall, speaking to reporter Erica Martinson for a series on how national policy issues are affecting 2014 midterm elections, said substance abuse is a big reason coal miners can’t find jobs in Southern West Virginia.
“Times are tough,” he told Martinson. “People turn to drugs — no question about it. Our coal companies can’t hire coal miners because they can’t pass a drug test.”Even if generally true, this would be a really effective way to upset a lot unemployed coal miners, not just the dopers, but especially the ones who aren't. But:
“As someone who screens and drug tests hundreds and hundreds of coal miners for potential employment in the mines, I can tell you that Nick Rahall’s comments are totally wrong and deeply offensive to the miners with whom I work,” Mike Grose of Elite Coal Services said in a statement issued by the Jenkins campaign.Remember when President Obama promised in 2008 to raise taxes on coal so much as to drive it out of business? Rep. Rahall, there are consequences to your choice of president.
“Since 2013, out of several hundred potential miners we’ve drug tested, just eight have tested positive. These hard-working men seeking employment are not the drug addicts Nick Rahall’s comments make them out to be.”